A guide to getting help from social services

The advice and referral team is your first point of call for all enquiries and to access social care services. They will put you in touch with the right support and can arrange a care assessment. You can also find information and advice on the WISH website - Support and care options for a range of services and care options, to help you remain independent or to support you living at home or in a residential or nursing home.

Before we can help you we need to assess your needs or the needs of the person you care for, and the support currently received.

Step 1 - Care assessment

We do this through a care assessment during which a social care worker will discuss with you your current state of health, mobility and independence, and the type of support and care you may need.

During the care assessment we will establish:

  • Your needs and the support and/or services you require
  • The needs, support and/or services required by anyone who supports you in your day-to-day life
  • Whether you meet the eligibility criteria for care services
  • Whether you have savings and capital over £23,250

If you are over the age of 18 and in need of help or support, you can ask for a care assessment whatever your financial circumstances.

For more information and to request an assessment, visit our care assessment page.

Step 2 - Financial assessment

Intermediate and replacement services are free of charge for up to six weeks subject to availability. After that period, and providing you meet the eligibility criteria, the amount the council may contribute towards your care will be based on a personal financial assessment. Equipment and some adaptations are free for any Herefordshire resident who meets the criteria. For more information visit the WISH website.

A financial assessment is to make sure that you will only pay what you can afford for the care you need. People with savings and capital over £23,250 are not eligible for financial assistance towards non-residential care services. However, we can still work with you to help identify and plan for the support you need. If you are not eligible for funding, you are described as being a self funder. Find out more on the self funders page.

Step 3 - Agree a support plan

Once you have completed a care assessment we will assist you to develop an appropriate plan specifying:

  • The type of help you need
  • Who can provide it
  • Who will organise it
  • Who will pay for it

We call this your support plan. If you require non-residential care we will work with you to determine the amount of money that is likely to be required to pay for services required to meet your eligible needs from the council. For more information about your support plan and personal budgets, visit our support plan. If you require residential or nursing care we will discuss the options with you. For more information see our residential and nursing care page.

Step 4 - Choose who will organise and pay for the services you need

If you are eligible for financial assistance towards your support plan, you can:

  • Choose to have your personal budget paid to you so that you can organise and pay for your own care arrangements. This is called a direct payment
  • Ask the council to organise and pay for your support if you cannot manage it
  • Choose a combination of the above options, where you take direct payments for some things and you ask a social care worker to help arrange the rest of your support

Find out more about having your personal budget paid directly to you on our direct payments page. If you are not eligible for funding, visit our self funders page.

Step 5 - Choose who will provide the services and support you need

If social care services are funding and organising your care, a social care worker will discuss the options with you. If you are organising and paying for your services yourself we can direct you to organisations and providers.

You can find more information about non-residential care charges on our paying for care and support at home page and non-residential care providers on our care in your own home page.

You can find more information about residential care providers on our residential and nursing care page.

Step 6 - Keeping in touch, reviewing your care

If your situation or your needs change, please contact the advice and referral team who will make arrangements for a reassessment of your needs to make sure you are receiving the support and care you need.