Under the Care Act you have a right to be assessed for free by your local council if you appear to need care and support to complete activities in your day-to-day life. You have this right to be assessed regardless of your financial situation, or whether the council thinks you will then be eligible for support from them.
You can ask your council for an assessment yourself, or be referred by someone you know, or by a professional who is already involved in your care, such as a GP, community nurse, or mental health nurse. If you are being referred by someone else, that person should have discussed and agreed this with you in advance.
The assessment will help the council to then decide if you do need care and support, and whether you are eligible for funding from the council towards the cost of that care and support.
The assessment must be carried out with involvement from you and, where appropriate, someone who looks after you (perhaps a relative or friend). It can also involve someone else nominated by you to help you get your views and wishes heard, or an independent advocate provided by the council.
Depending on where you live the council may offer you the chance to complete a form or questionnaire (known as a 'self-assessment') so that they can understand more about your needs and your living situation.