Keeping your social care support when you move

This information applies to England and Wales.

Tell your new local authority and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you’re going to move.

Contact your local authority (GOV.UK)

Your new local authority should give you a care assessment.

It cannot change your care until you have a new care plan.

You will also have a new financial assessment.

If your benefits change, this may change the amount you contribute for your care.

Your new care plan may be different. If your new plan does not meet your needs, you should appeal.

It may be helpful to ask for copies of the local authority’s needs and financial assessment policies.

Warning Moving may affect your benefits

If you’re not receiving Universal Credit, you will need to make a new claim for Universal Credit when you move. It could be up to 5 weeks before you get your first payment. It may be possible to get an advance payment.

Universal Credit

The Housing Benefit element of your claim will be based on your new rent. If your income is lower after you move, you may pay less for your social care.

Housing Benefit

Before you move

Tell your new and old local authority that you’re going to move.

You will also need to tell the DWP that your circumstances will change.

Reporting change of circumstances (GOV.UK)

Your new local authority must assess you

You have the legal right to the care in your old plan until your new local authority gives you a care needs assessment. This right is called the ‘continuity duty’ in the Care Act 2014.

Your care providers could change. For example, your new local authority might change your PA to someone from a different agency.

Residential care

In some situations, your old local authority may carry on paying for your residential care, or your new authority might start paying. If bills are unpaid because they disagree about who will pay, contact your old local authority.

You will carry on getting residential care.

Your care and support plan might change

Your old local authority must give your new local authority a copy of your old care plan.

Your new local authority cannot change the care plan until it has done a new care needs assessment.

If your care plan is reduced, the local authority needs to say why in the new care plan.

Continuity of care when moving between areas (GOV.UK)

Getting a needs assessment (NHS.UK)

Challenging your assessment

Your assessment should look at your needs on your good and bad days. Your new plan should describe what you need and how your care will help you to get it.

If your plan does not meet your outcomes (things you need for your wellbeing), you should appeal.

By law, your local authority must give you a written assessment.

Keep copies of everything you send to your local authority and everything that they send you.

If you feel that your local authority does not meet the outcomes in your care, you can challenge this.

Think about:

  • what would happen to you on a bad day if you had no support
  • the effect on your wellbeing and safety
  • how reducing the amount of care will affect you
  • what you need to meet the outcomes in your care and support plan

Challenging or complaining about your social care

Check your extra costs

Your local authority may require you to pay for some of the care you need. You will pay less when:

  • your income is lower
  • you spend more on the extra costs of being disabled

Rules on providing receipts vary from area to area. It should include anything that’s not in your care and support plan that you have to pay for because you’re disabled.

Ask for your council’s policy on disability-related spending.

Extra costs include specific equipment, like walking frames, and anything else that you use more because you’re disabled. For example:

  • ready meals if your condition means that you cannot cook
  • more heating if you have to spend more time at home
  • using taxis if your condition means that you cannot use public transport

Paying for disability equipment

Help with energy bills

Disability discounts for travel

Complain about unfair decisions

Your local authority might not agree that something counts as disability-related expenditure.

If your local authority makes an unfair decision, you should complain.

Writing a formal complaint about your social care needs assessment

Finding legal help (Citizens Advice)

Contact the local government and social care ombudsman

Last reviewed by Scope on: 30/11/2023

Was this page helpful?

We're sorry to hear that.

Tell us how we can improve it

More on social care