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Getting the right support

When a request for social care and support is made, North Somerset Council carries out an eligibility assessment to determine what is needed and if the person has the finances to make a contribution towards costs. The same set of standards is used for everyone to ensure fairness. Some people may need intensive support for a short period of time, they may need equipment in the home, or help to become more independent to reduce the need for longer-term support. Professionals can talk through these options before any decision is made.

You or your family can do a similar assessment on-line via the self-help tool, which provides information on local and national support organisations.

To decide whether people are eligible, the council uses the Department of Health eligibility criteria. This is graded into four bands which describe the seriousness of risk to independence or other consequences if needs are not addressed. These bands are critical, substantial, moderate or low.

The threshold for North Somerset includes critical and substantial needs only. However, advice and information on alternative support for lower needs can be provided.


Professionals will talk through your needs, learn what you want to achieve and decide what support is right for you. However, there may be some situations when the council cannot give you all the help you may feel you need.

Any help you do receive will be set out in a support plan. You will receive a copy of this document and any costs will be explained.

Carers Assessment

Anyone who provides regular care to a relative or friend and finds it is having an impact on their life is entitled to have a carer’s assessment. This is a series of questions which will help identify how caring impacts on a carer’s life, so the council can determine what support is needed.

A carer’s assessment can take place even if the person receiving the care refuses help or an assessment for themselves.

Services provided for carers can include:

  • substitute care so you can have a break

  • help with particular tasks or equipment

  • advice and support

  • benefits information and advice

Financial assessment

A financial assessment is carried out to decide what contribution towards your care and support you can afford. If you have savings and/or investments of more than £23,250 (for 2015/2016), or you do not wish to disclose your financial details, you will be considered to be financially responsible, known as self-funding. This threshold is subject to change at the start of each financial year.

However, anyone who funds their own care can still receive help and advice through the council’s Care Navigator service.

View more information about our Care Navigators service

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