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Community care is help that is provided for people in need to help them live as independently as possible and take part in their local community.

It may include getting help with housing and healthcare or finding a job, as well as many other areas of a person’s life. Community care assessments look at the needs of the whole family, not just the person with a learning disability.

A community care assessment may be part of a package of support that you and your family receive. At school age, someone with a learning disability may have their special educational needs met by their local school, or they may receive a statutory assessment and a statement if their needs are complex. In addition, carers are also entitled to their own assessment, called a carer’s assessment.

Make sure you know what you are entitled to!

As a parent or guardian it is important to find out exactly what benefits you are entitled to, and what financial support you can receive. It is also a good idea to find out about the various assessments that are available for you and your child, and the services that will be provided.

Visit the website to find out more about the different types of benefit that are available, and who can claim them.
Call the Benefit Enquiry Line on 0800 88 22 00. The service is available 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday, or 9am to 1pm on Saturday.
Contact the Learning Disability Helpline for support and advice on 0808 808 1111.

Remember that claiming some benefits may affect the other support you receive.

Positive Behaviour Support is used by Elliots Hill to care and support our customers who have been diagnosed with a learning disability and may exhibit challenging behaviour.

What is Positive Behaviour Support?

Positive behaviour support approaches have become established as the preferred approach when working with people with learning disabilities who exhibit behaviours described as challenging.

This is now reflected in a significant body of authoritative guidance, including the British Psychological Society’s Guidelines (Baileral 2004), and the Joint Guidelines of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Psychological Society and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (2007).

The strengths and successes of positive behaviour support approaches provide the reason for the increasing support for their use. They are fundamentally rooted in person centred values, aiming to enhance community presence, increasing personal skills and competence and placing emphasis on respect for the individual being supported.

They also use quality of life improvements for the person, both as an intervention and as an outcome measure.

Having a personal budget is part of the new system of social care that is called self-directed support.

A personal budget is a person’s money that comes from the local authority for their support.
An individual budget includes the money from the local authority and from other funding streams such as the disabled facilities grant.

Having a personal budget is part of the new system of social care that is called self-directed support. In Control is the organisation who developed self-directed support and it is now government policy.

Self-directed support:

puts the person who needs support in control. In the old system you didn’t have that much say about your support
has systems for working outquickly how much money you get for support. You can control that money or get someone to control it for you
means that you can use the money to get the life you want. You don’t have to spend the money on services. There’s a lot of flexibility.

In Control has seven key principles for self-directed support:

  • independent living: providing people with the right support so they can live as independently as possible
  • individual budgets: supporting people to decide how to spend their money to pay for support
  • self-determination: supporting people to make their own decisions
  • accessibility: making sure the rules of in Control are clear and open so people with a learning disability can understand them
  • flexibility: allowing people to spend their money in ways that make sense to them
  • accountability: getting the government and people with a learning disability to explain how they are using their money, and what they are learning from it
  • capacity: providing the right support so people can make their own decisions rather than assuming they cannot decide things for themselves

The Family Fund provides grants to help families caring for severely disabled children. The fund is open to low income families in the UK, and is available for children and young people aged 15 and under.

To apply for a grant you can contact the Family Fund online or in writing at:

Family Fund
Unit 4, Alpha Court
Monks Cross Drive
YO32 9WN

Contact details:
Family Fund
Telephone:0845 130 45 42
Fax:01904 652 625

What is Direct payments?

Direct payments allow people to receive money directly from their local authority, so they can pay for their own services and live more independently. Parents and carers, as well as someone with a learning disability, may be entitled to receive direct payments.

Not everyone will be offered direct payments. In order to receive them you must meet certain eligibility criteria, and you must have a Community Care Assessment that identifies the services you need. If you are eligible for the payments, you will then have the option to use the services provided by social services, or use the money provided by the local authority to buy your own services. You can also choose a combination of these two options.

For some families, direct payments can provide a more flexible system that allows them to choose the right services and the right support for their son or daughter. Amongst other things, direct payments can be used to pay for a personal assistant, to employ someone to support your child at college or work, or to help them with cooking and cleaning.

After a Community Care Assessment you should be told if you are eligible to receive direct payments, or you can speak to your social worker or care manager for advice. In most cases, if you are assessed as eligible for services you should be entitled to ask to receive all or part of these services through direct payments.

Managing your Direct payments

If you already receive direct payments but need help managing your money, it’s a good idea to get professional advice.

Brokers specialise in helping people to organise and pay for the right support. For more information, you can visit the National Brokerage Network (NBN) website and search for a brokerage service in your area.

The National Centre for Independent Living website also has a list of all the support organisations around the country that offer support to people in managing their direct payments.

Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their needs. If you provide regular, unpaid care for your son or daughter, you may be entitled to a carer’s assessment. The assessment is separate to the support received by the person you care for and your family, and looks at the impact caring is having on your life as a whole, for example the effect on your health and the impact on your family life. It will also take into account the needs of the person you care for and the services that are being provided for them.

Caring for someone else can be an exhausting and emotional experience, so making sure you get the help and support you need is incredibly important. You can request a carer’s assessment even if the person you care for has refused help from social services, and you can have the assessment carried out separately, on your own or with the support of a friend or advocate.

To get an assessment the best place to get started is by ringing Pembrokeshire County Council Social Services directly and ask to be put through to someone who can help you. The best number to ring is 01437 7764551

Follow the below link to the Directgov benefits adviser. This can help you work out what care associated benefits you may be eligible for.
To answer the questions and make sure your estimate is accurate, you’ll need to provide information about your:

  • savings
  • earnings (eg from payslips)
  • existing benefits and pensions
  • outgoings (eg rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
  • local housing allowance limit (if you rent your property from a private landlord)

Click here for the Directgov Benefits Calculator

The social fund is administered by Jobcentre Plus. It can provide lump sums of money, grants or loans to people under certain circumstances.

  • Community care grant – this is available to people in certain circumstances, for example, if they are leaving a care home, or their family is under exceptional pressure.
  • Budgeting loan: this loan allows people to buy items they cannot pay for in a lump sum, for example, things for the home. It is for people who receive income support, jobseekers allowance or pension credit.
  • Crisis loan: this provides immediate day-to-day help, or help to pay for something in an emergency.
  • Sure Start maternity grant: this is available if you or your partner receive a low income benefit or tax credit, and is designed to help you buy things for a new baby.
  • Funeral payment: this is for someone on a low-income benefit or tax credit who needs help to pay for a funeral.
  • Cold weather payment: this payment may be made during periods of cold weather to people who receive income support, jobseekers allowance or pension credit and meet certain other criteria, for example, if they have a child with a disability under the age of five.
  • Winter fuel payments: these payments are for people aged over 60 to help them during the winter months.

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) provides financial support for disabled people to allow them to live more independently in the community rather than in residential care. It is available for people with a severe disability, who are permanent residents in the UK and meet other eligibility criteria. In order to qualify for ILF you need to already be receiving a certain amount of support from social care services, and your application needs to be made jointly with them – although there may be some flexibility with this. If you get higher rate care component Disability Living Allowance then you may be able to apply.

If you are eligible, the ILF will provide funding for you to pay for a carer to support your son, daughter or relative at home or in the community. If they are in a residential school placement, you can receive ILF to pay for support when they are not in school but spending time at home with you.

To find out if you are eligible, and to download an application form, you can visit the ILF website.

We are here to help and support you

or call us on 01437 764 720