Social Care Assessment and Eligibility - Why
Why would I need social care services?
Your LA is responsible for your social care and support. They need to make sure your wellbeing is good(see here).
If you need help and support to look after yourself then you can have an assessment by social services. For example, you may not be able to
- get out of the house,
- keep in touch with friends and family,
- get a job or take part in education,
- clean your house,
- prepare meals or go shopping,
- keep safe,
- manage your money,
- take part in leisure activities, or
- contribute to society (e.g. volunteering, being in a club or group).
If you have difficulties with these things, this is called having ‘needs’.
What is the difference between a health care need and a social care need?
There is no legal definition of the differences between health care needs and social care needs. Sometimes a person’s needs could be met by healthcare and social care. But the NHS provides the following definition:
A healthcare need focuses on:
- the treatment or prevention of a disease, illness, injury or disability, or
- the care or aftercare of a person with these needs.
A social care need focuses on giving help with:
- activities of daily living,
- personal independence,
- keeping in touch with friends and family
- protection of vulnerable people, or
- access to a care home or supported housing.
Your LA is responsible for meeting your social care needs, but not your health care needs.
Preventing, reducing and delaying needs
The LA should provide information and activities aimed at people who don’t have a health or social care need, at the moment. These activities can include services, facilities or resources that may help a person to avoid developing needs for care and support in the future.
Your LA should give you support to make sure you do not develop needs in the future. They do this in 3 ways:
- preventing you from developing needs,
- reducing your needs, and
- delaying your needs.
These are explained in more detail below.
Your LA should give you support to make sure you do not develop needs in the future. This is called preventing needs. This kind of information and support is for people who may have an existing physical or mental illness and are at risk of developing needs. They need to make sure that you:
- can get good advice,
- have a safe neighbourhood,
- are active,
- are healthy, and
- are not socially isolated.
The LA should offer more specific help to you if that help will slow down or reduce your needs getting worse or going into a crisis.8 For example, you might find you spend a lot of money when you are unwell. Your LA could offer you money management and debt advice.
The LA should offer activities that help and support for people with one or more existing health problems or disabilities. The activities must help to slow down or stop the existing needs from getting worse. For example, this could include the supply of equipment, home adaptations or skills training to help a person remain independent.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays