What is adult social care?

This article answers key questions about who can access adult social care and how to pay for it.
Black older woman in a nursing home being spoken to by a carer

Social care is different from the health care you receive from the NHS. Social care offers more practical support with day to day living, for example with meals or personal care.

Support is also available for family/unpaid carers.

Social care is given in people's homes, care homes, or other community settings. It is delivered by a wide range of organisations and professionals, and within families and communities.

Social care is not free at the point of use in the way NHS services are. Part of the assessment process is a financial assessment.

Read more about what social care is

How do I receive help through social care?

Firstly, you will need to request an assessment through Coventry City Council. Information on how to do this can be found on the Coventry City Council website.

If you need social care for yourself, this is called a 'care assessment' or a 'needs assessment'.

If you provide unpaid care for someone else, your assessment is called a 'carers assessment'. Carers UK has published some tips on requesting an assessment for the first time on their website.

Read our article about support for carers in Coventry.

Alternatively, you may be offered a care assessment at home after being discharged from the hospital, called a 'discharge to assess' or a 'home first' approach.

The NHS can also assess people with very complex and long-term health needs for  support known as 'NHS Continuing Healthcare' or 'NHS CHC' .This involves a separate assessment process from the needs assessments carried out by local authorities. Read more about continuing healthcare

There is no charge for a social care assessment. All adults over 18 are entitled to an assessment to determine whether they could qualify for help or support. Adults can require care due to illness, disability, old age or poverty.

How do I pay for social care?

Another assessment is called a 'financial assessment' or 'means test'. This will work out if you qualify for free social care or whether you need to contribute towards the cost of your care plan.

The criteria used in means tests are quite complicated. The local authority will look at your income (earnings, savings or investments, or any benefits you receive - including your pension).

For those who own their home

If you are assessed to receive care at home, the council will not include the value of your home under your assets. 

If you will move to a residential care home, the council will include the value of your home as part of your assets.

If you have financial assets are below £14,250, the local authority will pay for your care in full.

The local authority will partially pay for your care if you have assets between £14,250 and £23,250. 

Local social care support

For more information about social care in Coventry visit: