If you care for a disabled person, you can have an assessment to see what support might help make your life easier. This is called a carer's assessment (also known as a ‘parent carer’s assessment’).
A carer's assessment focuses on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. This is separate from a needs assessment, which looks what the disabled person needs, like healthcare, equipment or help at home.
It can recommend things like:
temporary or regular breaks from caring
help with your travel costs
advice about benefits and support for carers
information on local support groups
gym membership and exercise classes to relieve stress
training on how to lift safely
A carer's assessment is free. You have the right to ask for one at any time.
How to get a carer’s assessment
Contact your local authority to ask for a carer's assessment.
Someone from your local authority, or an organisation your local authority works with, will ask how you are coping with caring.
This includes how it affects your:
mental and physical health
work or education
leisure or interests
Give as much detail as you can about how caring for your child is affecting your life. For example, if your child does not sleep or your family is finding it difficult to cope. This will help make sure you get the support you need.
The assessment is usually face to face, for example, in your home. Some councils can do it over the phone or online.
Assessments usually last around an hour.
Documents you need
You will need:
your GP's name, address and phone number
contact details of anyone who's going to be with you during your assessment
the name, address, date of birth of your child
your email address, if you have one
Have someone with you
It can help if you have someone with you during the assessment, like a friend or relative.
You could also use an advocate. Advocates are people who speak up on your behalf. They can help you fill in forms and sit with you in meetings and assessments. They're usually free. NHS.UK: Find an advocate in your area
POhWER can give you more information on how an advocate can help.
What happens next
You will usually get the results of the assessment within a week. If you qualify for help from the local authority, they'll write a carer support plan with you that sets out how they can help.
The plan outlines:
the type of support you need
how you will get this support
how much money your local authority will contribute to your care
Help with costs of caring
You might also qualify for benefits for carers that can help with costs, such as Carer’s Allowance.
If you qualify for support, you might be able to get a one-off payment (also known as a ‘direct payment’). This is to cover the cost of the services they would have to pay to meet your needs. For example, you may need help with the cost of driving lessons to help you continue in your caring role.