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If you are an adult carer and provide ‘regular and substantial' care for someone such as a relative, partner, or friend you are legally entitled to a carer's assessment from your Local Authority. 

The carer's assessment is to help you continue in your caring role whilst maintaining or improving your quality of life.  The assessment will look at how you are coping with the amount of care you are providing and if your health is being affected in any way.  It will look at the amount and type of support/help you may need to continue caring.   

You can have a carer's assessment whether or not the person you are caring for has had an assessment themselves.  This assessment is often carried out over the telephone.  You can also have a joint assessment and have your carer's assessment at the same time as your cared for has an assessment of their needs.

If your assessment is successful you may be able to obtain direct payments so you, as the carer, can buy the services that will most benefit you. Direct Payments are cash payments given to service users who have been assessed as eligible and are intended to give service users greater choice.  The payment must be spent on services that meet the assessed needs.   

To request a Carers Assessment you need to contact the Essex County Council Carers Assessment Team on 01206 222400 or if you live in the Southend area you need to contact Southend Borough Council Carers Assessment Team on 01702 215008.