Skip to content
Please donate

Can carers get help from social services?

Caring can be tough, and lots of carers don’t like to ask for help. If you’re finding caring difficult, a little extra help could make a lot of difference. On this page you’ll find out how to get some support.

What help can I get from social services?

As well as assessing the needs of the person you care for, your local social services department should also give you a carer’s assessment to see what you need and what might help you with your caring role.

You're entitled to a carer’s assessment if you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for someone. You can also get a carer’s assessment regardless of whether the person you care for is having their needs assessed.

The kind of help and support you could get includes:

  • respite care to give you a break
  • information on local carers support groups
  • help with caring
  • equipment to help you in your caring role.

You may also be entitled to a personal budget depending on your support needs identified in the assessment. A personal budget is the amount of money that the Health Trust has calculated will cover those needs. 

Personal budgets

Personal budgets and direct payments can give you more control over your care.

How do I arrange a carer’s assessment and what will happen?

Step one

Contact your local social services department to request a carer’s assessment.

Step two

Before you have an assessment, think about the following questions and whether being a carer is having a significant impact on these or other things in your life.

  • Are you getting enough sleep?
  • Can you get out and do things by yourself?
  • Are you eating well?
  • Is your health being affected by caring?
  • Can you cope with other family commitments?
  • Is juggling work and caring difficult?
  • Are you able to pursue your work or educational goals?
  • Can you socialise and enjoy your hobbies in the way that you used to?
  • Are there any other issues that may affect your ability to continue caring?

Step three

During the assessment, you’ll have a chance to talk about the care you provide and the impact it has on your life. The assessor will look at the support you get and whether other services could help you. They’ll also advise you on any benefits you’re entitled to and other sources of help.

Step four

Following the assessment, you’ll get a letter describing the support you could get and who will provide it.

What should I do next?

To get help from social services, call them and ask for a carer’s assessment. You could also ask for a needs assessment for the person you care for too.

Age NI Advice Service

Every year our Advice Service deals with thousands of calls from older people in need. Call us today to make sure that you are receiving all the help and support available to you.

Call freephone 0808 808 7575
Monday - Friday 9am – 5pm 

A small favour

All the information and advice we provide on the website is free and completely independent, as is our Advice Line that is open 365 days a year.

But demand is going up. We are an ageing population and more people than ever are coming to us for support, which is why we need to ask for help.

If you are able to, just a small gift today could help us reach even more older people wherever the need is greatest.

Please support our work


Last updated: Jan 16 2024

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top