Who is eligible for help?

Your needs assessment will identify if you meet the national eligibility criteria for adult social care. We have to follow a three stage process to decide if you meet this criteria.

Find out more about eligibility outcomes for adults with care and support needs under the Care Act 2014.

What if I'm not eligible for help?

When you contact us, we will need to carry out an initial assessment.

If someone else has referred you, we will contact you to make sure you have given your consent for the assessment to take place.

The first stage is usually a conversation with a member of our Adult Social Care Enquiry Team. A worker will contact you to introduce themselves and agree the best location to meet. This may be your own home or an office location.

They will ask you a series of questions about your needs and the outcomes you hope to achieve. This will take the form of a discussion. They will want to find out what you are having difficulties with, what activities you can manage on your own, what support you are already getting and who provides this support.

You can choose to have someone with you during this discussion. This may be a friend or family member but if you need an advocate, we can arrange this for you.

Will I have to pay for care?

If you are eligible for support from us we will carry out a financial assessment to work out if you have enough money to pay towards what you need. How much you pay will depend on your income and outgoings.

We will also look at the amount of savings you have.

If you have more than £23,250 in savings and capital, you will have to pay the full cost of any support you need. You can still have an assessment of your care needs but you will not qualify for any funded support from us.

If your savings and capital drop below £23,250, then you would be expected to pay a contribution for your services.

Our Welfare Rights team can assist you to claim any benefits you might be entitled to, such as attendance allowance or personal independence payments.

Healthcare needs

If your main or primary need for care relates to your health (rather than personal or social care) then the NHS may be responsible for your care services and could provide these free of charge. You can find out more about this on the NHS Choices website. In some cases support may be provided jointly by health services and social care services.

As well as care and support organised by us, some people are also eligible to receive help from the NHS. This help may be a nursing service for people who are ill or recovering at home after leaving hospital. It could include things like changing the dressings on wounds or giving medication. If you are eligible for this kind of help, a health professional such as your GP or Community Nurse should be able to tell you.

In exceptional circumstances, where an adult has a complex medical condition and substantial on-going care needs, the NHS provides a service called NHS Continuing Healthcare. NHS Continuing Healthcare provides care and support in a person’s home, care home or hospice.

How long can you have services for?

We may put services in place for a short time, to help you overcome short term problems, for example, services that will help you to manage on your own again after a stay in hospital. We will set timescales for looking at your situation again, depending on your circumstances. We will always review your care and support regularly.

Help and advice

You're also entitled to help from an independent advocate if you have difficulty participating in the assessment or other parts of the process and don't already have someone who can act as an advocate for you. If we identify that this may be the case, we have a duty to arrange an independent advocate who can act on your behalf.

Find out more about advocacy services.

If you don't agree with our decision

If you don't agree with our decision you can discuss this with the person who assessed you or with their manager.

You can also contact us to make a complaint or comment about the decision.

Your right to appeal

If you don't think that your personal budget is enough to meet your needs, then you can appeal and we will look at your case again. Contact Adult Social Care for more information.


We are committed to Safeguarding and preventing the abuse of adults. If you think someone is being abused, it is important that you tell someone.

Call us on 0121 569 2266 or email: sandwell_enquiry@sandwell.gov.uk. We are open from 9am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 5pm on Fridays. Outside of these hours, call 0121 569 2355.

If you are concerned that immediate action may be needed from the emergency services, please dial 999.

Find out more information about Safeguarding watch our short film ‘See Something, Do Something’.