Assessing your needs

Find out how an adult social care needs assessment works, and how we determine eligibility.

If you find it difficult to look after yourself due to either a physical or mental health condition, illness, or disability, we may be able to provide advice, information and support to manage your care and support needs.

If you appear to have care and support needs, an assessment of needs should be offered by us, regardless of your finances or whether we think your needs will be eligible.

During the assessment process, information, advice and support will be provided to help you maintain your independence and wellbeing. This might include a referral to our reablement service. If, based on the assessment your care and support needs are eligible under The Care Act (2014), we will work with you to meet your needs.

Carers' assessments

If you provide unpaid support to a family member, friend or a loved one who is over the age of 18 who requires care and support, you are entitled to a carers’ assessment.

Carers’ assessments are carried out by your local carers organisations, or may be carried out by us. If you would like further information on the wide range of support offered by the carers’ organisations, and/or you would like to request an assessment, please visit Carers Support Cumbria.

Needs assessments

Assessments of your needs are carried out by one of our practitioners such as a Social Worker, Occupational Therapist, Rehabilitation Officer for Visual Impairment or Social Care Worker. 

The assessment will involve talking to:

  • you, about your care needs and current circumstances
  • others who provide you unpaid care such as friends or family members.
  • anyone else you feel is appropriate to help establish what support you need

We may ask you if we can contact other professionals who help you such as a health professional.

You may want support during the assessment from somebody that is independent from Adult Social Care, and are not family members or friends to ensure your views and wishes are heard.

You can access this support through the independent People First service to ask for further information and/or ask for support. Find out more on the People First website.

Establishing your needs

To assess your needs, we will have a conversation with you and work together to understand your circumstances, what is important to you, develop an understanding of your physical and mental health, how you manage to look after yourself and your current family and support networks.

The assessment may include discussion of some areas you may find personal, such as how you manage your personal care. Our practitioners will at all times listen and be respectful and supportive. 

Making a plan

Within the assessment, we will consider your views, wishes and feelings to understand the impact your care and support needs have on you and your wellbeing, to help us determine if you are eligible for support. This enables us to develop a plan together to help manage these needs.

This could include:

  • identifying the type of help you need
  • when this help is needed
  • who will provide it
  • any religious and cultural needs we need to consider

We will work with you to identify and build on your strengths, capabilities and aspirations, towards maintaining and improving your community connections and quality of life.

We will also work out when you require a review to ensure the support you are receiving remains appropriate and aligns with your evolving needs.


You can complete a self-assessment to help identify your needs. If this is something you would like to do, please let us know when you contact us. Please note we will use your self-assessment to help identify your needs, however it will ultimately be the responsibility of our practitioner to establish your eligibility of the needs you identify.


Eligibility for support is set out in law. To be eligible you must meet all of the following criteria.

You have care and support needs due to a physical or mental condition or illness. And because of those needs, you are unable to achieve two or more of the outcomes below, making a significant impact on your wellbeing:

  • Managing and maintaining your nutrition.
  • Maintaining your personal hygiene.
  • Managing your toilet needs.
  • Being appropriately clothed.
  • Being able to make use of your home safely.
  • Maintaining a habitable home environment.
  • Developing and maintaining family or other personal relationships.
  • Accessing and engaging in work, training, education or volunteering.
  • Using necessary facilities or services in the local community, including public transport and recreational facilities or services.
  • Carrying out any caring responsibilities you have for a child.

If we find you eligible, some of our services such as care are means tested. To learn more about this please visit Paying for care and support.

Disputing your eligibility

If you disagree with a decision that is made in relation to your eligibility for support in the first instance, please discuss this with your adult social care practitioner. If this cannot be resolved you can make a formal complaint using this link Making a complaint.

Arranging an assessment

If you would like to arrange an assessment or have any questions, please get in touch:

Fill out our adult social care enquiry form

Alternatively, contact us via email or phone:
0300 373 3301

Our working hours are Monday – Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-4;30pm. If you require urgent support for a vulnerable adult out of these hours, please use the number detailed below: 

01228 526690