Assessment, support planning and review
This factsheet explains the different types of assessment, how we plan your social care support and review how things are going.
April 2023 (FS3)
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If our initial conversation with you and/or your carer about your needs suggests you require ongoing care and support, we’ll complete a detailed social care needs assessment with you. This is usually face-to-face at a place to suit you. The assessment helps us to understand more about you, including your daily life, your strengths, your support needs, and to see if you are eligible for support from us.
To be eligible, you must meet national eligibility criteria set by the government. This means you must have care and support needs as a result of a physical impairment and/or a mental impairment and/or an illness which impact on at least two areas of your daily life and have a significant impact on your wellbeing.
For more information on the criteria, read our factsheet: Who qualifies for our support?
If you are someone who has a carer, it is important you tell us so we can offer them support too.
We respect your right to confidentiality and will only share information about you if you agree, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example, if someone is at risk of harm.
You are a carer if you look after someone who wouldn’t be able to manage everyday life without your help. This could be an adult relative, partner, friend or neighbour. As a carer you have a right to have your own needs assessed. We normally offer clients and carers a shared assessment, where appropriate.
If you are under 18 and helping someone in your family, you are also entitled to an assessment as a young carer. We can refer you to other organisations such as the East Sussex Young Carers Service, depending on your needs.
If the person you are caring for doesn’t want to have an assessment, or does not meet the care and support eligibility criteria, you may still be entitled to support in your caring role.
More information and support for carers can be found in our leaflet: Do you look after someone?
Understanding what you will need to pay
Unlike NHS healthcare, social care and support is not free, and the majority of people pay some or all of the costs of their care. We will complete a financial assessment to see what you’ll need to pay.
If you have more than £23,250 in capital and assets, you will need to pay for your care yourself. This is called 'self-funding'. This does not include the value of your property unless you're moving into a care home. If you need social care support and have less than £23,250 in capital and assets then we will assess your finances and let you know what you need to contribute toward your care.
Any contribution you are required to pay is payable from the first day of your care and support. There is more information in our leaflet: What you will need to pay towards the cost of your care and support.
Managing your care
Once we have agreed your support plan, your care can be set up in various ways. If you’re eligible for support and for us to contribute toward the cost of your care, you can:
- buy services yourself with a direct payment
- ask us or a provider to buy services on your behalf
- have a mixture of the two
If you choose a direct payment, we can put you in touch with specialist organisations that help people manage their personal budget or employ a personal assistant.
If you are paying for your own care and support we can still work with you to help you find and arrange services.
Planning your support
After your assessment, if you have eligible care and support needs we will estimate how much it may cost to meet these and give you an estimated personal budget. This will help you to understand how much it may cost to meet your needs and to look at options available to include in your support plan.
Once you have an estimated budget we will start developing your support plan with you. You can be creative and use sources of support that work for you, as long as they meet your eligible social care needs, are legal and affordable according to the amount of your estimated personal budget. This might include employing a personal assistant to support you. We will work with you to identify your support networks − friends, relatives, neighbours or the wider community − to explore all options.
Your support plan will cover:
- what is important to you
- how you would like your situation to change
- how you will use your personal budget to meet your needs
- when and how you will get support, and any you’re getting already
- whether you have a carer, who may have needs of their own
- how you will stay safe and manage any risks
- how much you will pay, and how much we will pay
- any special needs you have, including any cultural or faith needs
- plans for what will happen if things change
- when we will review your support
When the care and support to meet your needs is agreed and the costs are clear, you will receive a final personal budget figure. This may be more or less than your estimated budget, depending on how your eligible needs are to be met.
Your personal budget is the total amount it might cost to meet your eligible care and support needs. The budget includes the amount you are assessed as able to contribute yourself.
You may choose to arrange your own care and not have a support plan if you prefer.
Checking how things are going – review
Once your support is up and running, we will set a date with you to see how things are going. This is called a 'review'. It’s an opportunity for you to tell us what is working or what may need to change. Most people have a review once a year, but this may vary depending on your needs. This is called a 'scheduled review'.
If your needs change before your scheduled review date you can contact us to request an unscheduled review. You, or anyone involved with your care and support, can request this.
Sometimes a review may result in a change to your care and support because your needs or circumstances have changed. This will always be discussed with you and your support plan will be updated to reflect any changes agreed.
What to do if you disagree
We want to work with you, but if you feel that the outcome of your assessment or review hasn’t adequately considered your care and support needs, you can appeal. To do this, please speak to your social care worker within 10 working days of your assessment or review. It may be helpful to provide information that supports what you think.
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