Support for carers in Northern Ireland
Under the Carers and Direct Payments Act, you are entitled to a carer’s assessment if you provide ‘regular and substantial’ care for someone.
Ask the social services department of your Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) for one.
The assessor will look at your individual needs and discuss them with you. The assessment will show which needs are most important, and the risks if you are not given help.
After your assessment, your HSCT will develop a care plan setting out the support and services you need. Trusts can provide services directly to you, or you may be able to choose those services yourself.
I have been told I am eligible for support as a carer. Who will pay for it?
Your HSCT will decide if you should pay for some or all of the services you need. If the HSCT is going to pay in part or in full, it must offer you a direct payment, so you can choose, arrange and pay for the services directly. It can charge you for services, but this is rare.
The person you care for – assessment of their needs
The person you care for can have a community care assessment, but if the HSCT decides that you are meeting all of their support needs – and if you are happy to continue doing so – then the trust is not obliged to provide additional support.
If the HSCT decides that the person you care for is eligible for more support, they can either provide services themselves or provide services through another organisation. Alternatively, they can give the person you care for money to choose and pay for services directly: this is called a direct payment or a personal budget.
Useful contacts in Northern Ireland
Up-to-date information about loans and grants, and details of local councils are available at the nidirect website.
Carers Northern Ireland: 02890 439 843
Carers Trust Northern Ireland: 0779 431 8403