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What help can I get from my local authority as a carer?


Local authorities have the primary responsibility for managing social care in the UK. The local council should therefore be your first port of call for support for the person you care for, alongside their medical team. You will likely interact with the local authority a great deal when coordinating your friend or relative’s care.

The support that each council provides and how they provide it differs slightly between local authorities. It is best to speak to your council directly to find out exactly what support they can give to the person you care for and to you as their carer. If you don’t know which local authority you come under, you can find out on the GOV.UK website. If you live in a different area to the person you care for, it will be their council that supports both of you, so use their address details when identifying the local authority.

There are, however, various services that each council has a legal duty to provide. It is not always easy to know what you are entitled to and how to go about accessing this support though. We have therefore provided a range of guides to give you all the information you might need about the services your local authority should offer.

We have a guide to ‘Needs assessments’, to ensure that the person you care for has their social care needs assessed and a support plan put in place. If they are assessed as needing additional care, either from paid carers in their own home or by moving into a care home, then the local council may also help pay for this. To find out more, take a look at our guide ‘Getting local council funding for care costs’. We also have a guide to ‘Carer’s assessments’, which tells you everything you need to know about being assessed yourself as a carer to see what support your council can provide for you too.

Your local authority should also provide support with getting the right home adaptations and aids to allow the person you care for to be as independent as possible. Our guide to ‘Occupational therapist assessments’ is the best place to start. The occupational therapist will decide what changes need to be made to the person you care for’s home to ensure that it best suits their needs, and what equipment might be most beneficial to them too. Your council may also be able to provide some financial support for these adaptations and aids. Take a look at our guide ‘Financial help from your local council with home aids and adaptations’ to find out more.

If you or the person you care for are able to receive some financial support from the local council, then your next question might well be “So how will this get paid?” The answer to this question, and any other questions you might have about local authority payments for care, can be found in our guide ‘Personal budgets and direct payments’.

If the person you care for is under the age of 25 and has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) then your council must also by law provide you with details of what is known as their ‘Local Offer’. This is a document or website which details what support is available to you locally. It enables you to clearly see all of the services that they offer and how you can access them. To find out more, take a look at our guide ‘Your council's Local Offer’.

If you feel that at any point in your interactions with the local authority you have been let down, that the council is not fulfilling their legal obligations, that you have been refused an assessment you think you are entitled to or that even after the assessment you or the person you care for do not have the right support in place, then take a look at our guide ‘Making a complaint about the local authority.’ This provides details of all the options open to you.

Online Help and Advice

Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

Online support
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