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Help from the local council if you are ill, injured or have a disability

If you have an illness or a disability, you may need help to continue living at home. These services can be provided by your local council.

1. Who does it help?

If you have an illness or a disability, you may need help to continue living at home. For example, you may need someone to come in and help with personal things like washing, dressing, shopping, cooking. Or you might need equipment to help with mobility or daily living tasks

These services can be provided by your local council:

  • Social services in England and Wales

  • The social work department in Scotland

  • The Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

2. Do I have to pay for services provided by the local council?

You might have to pay for community care services. This depends on arrangements in your local area as well as your income and savings.

If your local council is paying for the services, you can choose to get money directly from your local authority to choose and buy the services you need yourself through what is known as direct payments. Otherwise your local authority will pay the care worker directly.

3. How do I claim?

The first step is to have your needs assessed by these services through a Health and Social Care Assessment (also sometimes called a 'community care assessment' or an 'assessment of need').

Once you have been assessed, depending on your care needs, they will draw up a care plan outlining what help you should have and how this can be given. Services may be provided by social services, voluntary organisations and/or private companies.

Contact your local council for more information.

4. If you have been in hospital

If you have been in hospital, you should not be discharged until you have had an assessment of your continuing health care needs and, where necessary, of your community care needs.

See also the Turn2us Hospital and benefits information

5. Further information

Age UK information about help at home

Citizens Advice information on social care and support (Please note this links to the Scotland information as the England information is currently not available on this site.  There is information for each country of the UK so make sure you look at the information for the country of the UK you live in. You can do this by selecting it from the drop down menu on the page.)

Independent Age information on support and care

Independent Age: Health and care assessments guide

Paying for Care website

Scope information on Independent living and social care

Last updated: 7 August 2017