FAQ - Support for Carers

What is a carer?

In England, millions of people provide unpaid care or support to an adult family member or friend, either in their own home or somewhere else.

‘Caring’ for someone covers lots of different things, like helping with their washing, dressing or eating, taking them to regular appointments or keeping them company when they feel lonely or anxious. If this sounds like you, you are considered to be a ‘carer.’

From April 2015, the legal basis for care and support in England is changing for the better.  If the person you care for is an adult (aged 18 or over) you may be able to get help to carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing.

What is ‘support for carers’?

‘Support for carers’ is what we mean by the help and advice that carers can access.  In North East Lincolnshire, this help can primarily be accessed via the Single Point of Access (01472 256256).  As a carer, you may be able to get help so that you can carry on caring and look after your own wellbeing.

What is changing?

From April 2015, changes to the way care and support is provided in England mean you may be eligible for practical support, like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break.  Or you may prefer to be put in touch with local support groups (such as the North East Lincolnshire Carers’ Support Service) so you have people to talk to.

If the person you care for lives in North East Lincolnshire, the Single Point of Access can help you find the right support and you can ask them for a carers’ assessment.  You can contact the single point of access on 01472 256256.

A carer’s assessment will look at the different ways that caring affects your life, and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family.  Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment.  As a result of the assessment, you may be eligible for support via the Single Point of Access; staff within the Single Point of Access will also offer you advice and guidance to help you with your caring responsibilities.

You can have a carer’s assessment even if the person you care for does not get any help via the Single Point of Access, and they will not need to be assessed.

Am I eligible for support?

If the person you care for lives in North East Lincolnshire, staff at the Single Point of Access can help you find the right support and you can ask them for a carer’s assessment. The carer’s assessment will help to decide what care and support you need and how much help staff within the Single Point of Access can give you.

What about parents caring for disabled children, or young carers who are under 18?

If you are a young carer yourself, or if you are a parent caring for a disabled child, you have similar rights to assessment and support but they are covered by the Children and Families Act, not the Care Act.

If you or the person you are caring for is about to reach the age of 18 years, you will be able to get a ‘transition assessment’ which will let you know whether you or they are likely to be eligible for support as an adult caring for another adult.

The Department for Education will soon be publishing further information on the rights of parent carers and young carers and how they should be supported.

How might a carer’s assessment help me?

If you provide care and support to an adult friend or family member, you may be eligible for practical support, like arranging for someone to step in when you need a short break.  Or you may prefer to be put in touch with local support groups (such as the North East Lincolnshire Carers’ Support Service) so you have people to talk to.

A carer’s assessment will consider the impact the care and support you provide is having on your own wellbeing and important aspects of the rest of your life.

When can I request a carer’s assessment?

You can ask for a carer’s assessment at any time.  If the person you care for lives in North East Lincolnshire, you should contact the Single Point of Access on 01472 256256.  If you don’t want a formal carer’s assessment but you are looking for advice and information about local support, you should contact the North East Lincolnshire Carers’ Support Service on 01472 242277.

What will be considered during the assessment?

A carer’s assessment will look at the different ways caring affects your life and work out how you can carry on doing the things that are important to you and your family. It should cover your caring role, your feelings about caring, your physical, mental and emotional health, and how caring affects your work, leisure, education, wider family and relationships.

Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing will be at the heart of this assessment. This means that you will be able to talk about how caring for someone is affecting your life and what could make things better for you and the person you look after.

Does having a carer’s assessment affect my right to get carer’s allowance?

Not at all. Having a carer’s assessment will not affect your right to receive a carer’s allowance.

Does having a carer’s assessment mean I am being judged on the quality of care that I provide?

A carer’s assessment is about you and your wellbeing. It will consider the impact that caring is having on your life and what support might be available for you. Its purpose is not to judge the care that you provide.

Can I have a carer’s assessment if the person I care for does not currently get help?

Yes.  If you care for an adult family member or friend who lives in North East Lincolnshire, and you feel like you need some support, you can contact the Single Point of Access to ask for a carer’s assessment.  If the person you care for lives outside of North East Lincolnshire, you should contact the council covering the area where they live to ask for a carer’s assessment.  You can also ask for an assessment for the person you care for, if you want to.

I share providing care with other family members/ friends. Can all of us have a carer’s assessment?

Everyone who gives unpaid care to an adult over the age of 18, and has some need for support, can request an individual carer’s assessment. They do not have to be done together.

I share providing care with other family members/ friends and we disagree about who provides the most. Will this affect the support that I may be offered?

This should not affect the support you may be offered. If you care for an adult family member or friend who lives in North East Lincolnshire, and you feel like you need some support, you can contact the Single Point of Access to ask for a carer’s assessment.  If the person you care for lives outside of North East Lincolnshire, you should contact the council covering the area where they live to ask for a carer’s assessment.

If staff within the Single Point of Access decide that you have needs that meet the new national eligibility level they will discuss with you what support they can provide.

If your needs are not eligible, you will be given information and advice about other types of support that are available in North East Lincolnshire. This may include putting you in touch with local charities or community organisations. Although there are several organisations supporting carers locally, the key organisation supporting carers is the North East Lincolnshire Carers’ Support Service based at 1 Town Hall Square Grimsby, which can be contacted by either calling in or telephoning 01472 242277. The website can also be viewed at www.carerssupportcentre.com

The person I am caring for will not agree to a needs assessment themselves. Could I still be offered support as a carer?

You don’t need the permission of the person you are caring for to request a carer’s assessment. You are entitled to ask for one in your own right. 

What happens if my needs change or if I need more support?

If either of these things happen, staff at the Single Point of Access will be able to discuss your situation with you and agree the next steps to take.