Care assessments

Request help with care

If you think that you or someone you know is eligible for care, you can request a care assessment.

You can request an assessment over the phone (0191 424 6000) or online:

Request a care assessment

Who can get help with care?

To be eligible for help with care, you must have an impairment or illness. You must also be unable to achieve at least two of the below criteria:

  • Manage and maintain nutrition
  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Manage toilet needs
  • Be appropriately clothed
  • Be able to make use of your home safely
  • Maintain a habitable home environment
  • Develop and maintain family or other personal relationships
  • Access and engage in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Make use of necessary facilities or services in the local community, including using public transport and recreational facilities or services
  • Carry out any caring responsibilities you have for a child

The Council will use the National Eligibility Criteria above to help determine your eligibility. If you already have a carer helping you, this won't affect your assessment. We will also take into account how your wellbeing is affected. 

Wellbeing can relate to:

  • Personal dignity (including being treated with respect)
  • Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control over your day-to-day life (including care and support and the way they are provided)
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal domains
  • Suitability of your living accommodation
  • Your contribution to society

All of the areas listed above are equally important. There is no single definition of wellbeing, as this depends on you, your circumstances and your priorities.

For more information about eligibility, please contact the Adult Social Care Initial Contact Team on 0191 424 6000.

What happens once I am offered an assessment?

A social worker will contact you to arrange an assessment in a way that is best for you. This can be over the phone, face to face with a social worker or you can complete a self-assessment form yourself.

This will help identify what care needs you have and what support you need.

Who will be involved in the assessment?

Family and friends who support you, with your consent, may be involved during the assessment and asked how much support you get from them. They may be classed as carers and be entitled to an assessment in their own right.

If you need independent help to support you with the assessment, this can be arranged for you. For more information, see  Advocacy services.

Will I have to pay for a care assessment?

No, there is no cost for a care assessment.

What happens during the assessment?

A social worker or care co-ordinator will talk to you about how much and what kind of support you need as well as what help you are eligible for.

During your assessment you may be asked about the following:

  • How you cope with your personal needs e.g. getting up, washing and going to the toilet
  • How you cope with domestic household tasks
  • Your physical and mental health needs
  • Getting around, both inside and outside your home
  • Your leisure, recreational or social needs
  • Who is providing you with help
  • Where are you living
  • Financial matters

What happens after the assessment? 

If you are eligible for support you will need to think about how you would prefer your care needs to be met. There is help available through your social worker or care co-ordinator and you may wish to talk with your family and friends.

Your indicative budget 

As part of your assessment we calculate the amount of money needed to meet your care needs and tell you what that is. This is called an indicative budget, and may not be the final amount you actually need to meet your care needs.

Your financial assessment

You also need to complete a financial assessment so we can see if you need to pay anything towards your indicative budget, depending on your financial circumstances. If your savings are less than £23,250 you may qualify for financial help towards the cost of your care. For more information, see  How much will I have to pay?

If you are currently paying for your own care and your savings reduce to below £23,250, contact the Initial Contact Centre on 0191 424 600, to arrange a financial assessment.

Please note: The above limits are set by the Government. They may change, so we can advise you to contact us for the up-to-date amounts.

Once your budget has been agreed, a Care and Support plan will be developed, and you will get information about  Direct Payments and how you may use the budget to pay for your care needs.

Your Care Plan will include details about your needs, the services to be arranged, the name of your social worker or care co-ordinator, a date to review how the plan is working and you will get a copy of this plan.

Help and advice

If you need independent help to support you with the assessment, this can be arranged for you. For more information, see  Advocacy services.

If you have any questions about the care assessment, you can contact the Adult Social Care Initial Contact Team on 0191 424 6000.

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