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Carer Assessments

COVID-19 has meant that temporary changes are being implemented by many Local Authorities, which will affect how assessments are carried out  – see the Government guidance document Care Act Easements (updated September 2020)

Rethink also have information about effects of COVID-19 on topics such as assessment.

Who can ask for a carer assessment?

Anyone living in the UK has a right to an assessment of their own needs, if they give unpaid care and support to an adult who is disabled, ill or elderly.  In Scotland, a carers’ assessment is called an Adult Carer Support Plan.

A carer does not need to be:

  • living in the same home as the person being cared for
  • caring 24/7 – carers often need to balance their caring role with working and/or other commitments

A carer assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life and identify the help and support you may need to carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family.

Not sure if eligible?

What would happen to the person you are helping, if you were not there for them? If their health and well-being could suffer without your help, then you are a carer who is eligible for an assessment.

How to ask for a carer assessment

Local Councils have the overall responsibility to arrange an assessment of carer needs for carers in their area and may also have carers units and/or information for carers in their local areas.

You can use this online search using your postcode or nearest town to find details of your local adult social care services. Or you could contact the NHS Carers Direct Helpline

Carers Direct Helpline: 0300 123 1053

The cost of the call is the same as a call to a number beginning 01 or 02 (known as geographic numbers). Ask if you need a translator.

You can also access their webchat helpline

Helpline and webchat opening hours:

Monday to Friday:  9am to 8pm

Weekends: 11am to 4pm

If you prefer to email use the Carers Direct online enquiries service –  a Carers Direct adviser will normally respond within 24 hours of you submitting your enquiry, excluding bank holidays.

The NHS Carers Information service offers help and support to carers. The helpline advisers can give you information to help make decisions about your personal support needs and the needs of the person you’re looking after. This includes information on assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off, work or education.

Carers Direct provides information, advice and support on carers’ issues but is not able to provide on-going casework. They can put you in touch with specialist national or local sources of help, including carers’ centres, social care and self-help networks.

There is also an online guide to support and benefits for carers and to carers assessments

How can a Carer Assessment help?

A carer assessment can help by identifying an individual carer’s need for help and support and how these support needs could be met.

A carer assessment can:

  • determine the help and support needed for a carer to maintain or improve their health and well-being, and to balance caring with other demands such as work and family
  • consider other important issues, such as whether the carer is able or willing to carry on caring, whether they work or want to work, whether they want to study and/or do more socially
  • suggest useful contacts to help a carer’s support needs to be met. These may include, for example, a local carers unit, carer support groups, benefits advice, helplines etc.
  • consider if a carer is eligible for Direct Payments to meet any identified support needs which incur a cost to them.

Need more information on Carer Assessments?

Carers Trust has information about Carer Assessments and what they involve

Carers UK offer a range of help and support including a downloadable Carers Assessment factsheet

NHS Carers Direct has more information on carer assessments, including helpful advice on how to prepare for an assessment.

Rethink have useful information for carers, families and friends, including about Carer Assessments

Skills For Care offer a range of information and advice about Carer Assessments including a free e-learning course for people carrying out assesments.


A carer may be eligible for Government Benefits related to their caring role – find out more about these Benefits

Helpful services for carers
Recovery resources for professionals