Your assessment is your opportunity to tell us how you're currently managing and what you need help with.

Anyone can request an assessment - yourself, friends or family - but must have permission from the person being assessed.

To request an assessment, please call the Adult Social Care Helpdesk on 023 9268 0810.

The helpdesk is open 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday.

There can be a wait to be assessed and we will contact you to agree a date for your assessment. We prioritise people with very urgent needs, so please let us know if your situation changes.

For your assessment, a member of our team will contact you, and may be able to gain all the information they need by phone, or may arrange a time to visit you at home or another location. We will ask questions to find out how your needs affect your life, and to see whether you are eligible for support from social care.

All councils use the same eligibility criteria - see below for details.

If your assessment shows that you are eligible for social care support, we will work with you to create a support plan. Your support plan will set out the goals you are working towards in your life, what support you already have, and what support you might need from the council to help you achieve them.

We will discuss your options with you, so you can choose how you would like your care and support provided. We will contact you again to see how things are going and to make sure that your care and support is working for you.

We will send you a copy of your assessment and support plan. If you aren't happy with the plan, you can tell us. Your social worker or independence support assistant will give you their direct phone number, or you can call our helpdesk on 023 9268 0810.

If you wish to make a complaint, see Your Rights and Records below.

The eligibility criteria for adults with care and support needs is set out in the Care Act 2014.

The national criteria makes sure that all councils follow the same rules to assess people who need care and support.

Eligibility Criteria, Adult with Care and Support Needs

  1. Do the needs arise from a physical or mental impairment or illness?
  2. Do these needs mean that the adult is unable to achieve two or more of the outcomes listed below?
  3. Is there consequently a significant impact on the adult's wellbeing?


  • Manage and maintain nutrition
  • Maintain personal hygiene
  • Manage toilet needs
  • Being appropriately clothed
  • Be able to make use of adult's home safely
  • Maintain a habitable home environment
  • Develop/maintain family and other personal relationships
  • Access/engage in work, training, education or volunteering
  • Make use of community services
  • Carry out caring responsibilities for a child

Adult social care is means tested, which means that you may be asked to contribute or pay in full for the services you receive.

After your support plan is agreed, a financial assessment will see whether you are eligible for any funding towards your care.

One of our Financial Assessment and Benefits (known as FAB) team will visit you at home to discuss your finances. They will also help you to claim any benefits you might be entitled to.

See Paying for Your Care for more information.

Yes, you are welcome to ask someone to be at the assessment with you.

If you feel you need the support of an independent professional advocate, please ask us when we contact you to arrange the visit. An advocate helps you to talk to us, and makes sure we listen to you and understand you.

Yes, when your support plan is agreed, the computer automatically calculates the amount of money it would cost to meet your care and support needs. This is your 'individual budget' and makes sure services are arranged fairly for everyone. You can choose how your individual budget is spent, to meet the needs agreed in your support plan.

Some of your options will depend whether you are eligible for funding (see Paying for Your Care).

If you pay the full cost of your care

  • You can choose to arrange your care and support privately. This means you would no longer be a client of adult social care. However, you are welcome to contact us for information and advice, for a re-assessment if your needs change, or for a financial re-assessment if your finances become depleted.
  • We can arrange care and support for you, taking into account your wishes and preferences. We will invoice you for the cost of your care.

If you are eligible for funding

  • For care and support at home, you can choose to receive your funding as a Direct Payment. This is money given directly to you on a pre-paid card, to spend on care and support. You can purchase anything that meets the needs agreed in your support plan. 
    If your financial assessment finds you need to contribute towards the cost of your care, you will pay your contribution into the account to spend through the prepaid card.
    Please note: Direct Payments are currently only available for people receiving care and support at home, and cannot be used to pay care home or nursing home fees.
  • We can arrange care and support for you, taking into account your wishes and preferences. If your financial assessment finds you need to contribute towards the cost of your care, we will invoice you for your contribution.

Yes, you can employ a personal assistant using the Portsmouth Personal Assistant Noticeboard.

Employing a PA means you write the job description and you recruit the right person for you. This means you have control of your care and support. For example, you can specify if you need your personal assistant to have specialist training or skills, and you choose the times and days you would like them to work.

Being an employer comes with a level of responsibility. However, support is available if you need it. Search "personal assistant" on the Healthwatch directory to find services that offer information, advice and support on employing a personal assistant.

  • Anyone can hire a personal assistant privately, for care and support or just help around the home
  • If you receive Direct Payments, you can use your direct payment to hire a personal assistant to meet the needs agreed in your support plan

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