Disability Law Service

Providing Access to the Law - National Registered Charity 280805

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Accessing Advice

Community Care

What are community care services?

If you, or someone you care for, need help to manage at home because you are sick or disabled, the local authority social services department can provide or arrange a variety of community care services for you.
The services that may be available include:

  1. Personal care to assist with things such as getting up, washing, dressing, bathing, feeding and getting around;
  2. Domestic help such as cleaning, shopping and laundry;
  3. Adaptations to a disabled person’s home, for example, stair lifts, ramps, handrails, raised toilet seats, lowering work tops, equipment for safety, comfort and convenience (e.g. bath seats, handrails, alarm systems, hoists, movable baths, adapted switches and handles, special beds, chairs and kitchen equipment);
  4. Transport to and from services;
  5. Leisure, occupational and rehabilitation activities in day centres, training centres, workshops and holiday homes;
  6. Respite care if someone is caring for a disabled person; and
  7. ‘Meals on wheels’, or lunches in day centres.

Distinction needs to be made between powers and duties to provide social services and health provision, both for people with a disability and elderly people.
We can give advice on all aspects of Community Care law including:

  1. Disabled Facilities Grant and adaptations to the home;
  2. Social Services assessments;
  3. charging for Social Services, including domiciliary and residential care;
  4. disabled children and the Children’s Act;
  5. access to or problems with independent living services;
  6. access to or problems with residential care;
  7. N H S responsibilities, including Continuing Healthcare;
  8. direct payments
  9. mental capacity
  10. access to information and personal records.

How we can help you

We give advice about all aspects of community care law.  We can advise over the phone or in writing.  Should your particular circumstances warrant further advice or assistance then we may be able to formally take a case on under the Legal Service Commission’s Legal Help scheme. 

In order for us to take on a case under Legal Help scheme, you must be financially eligible for Legal Help. We will be able to advise you about this when you contact us.  Under the Legal Help scheme, we are able to give general advice, correspond with third parties, assist in making complaints to local authorities and/or Primary Care Trusts, assist with complaints to the Local Government and/or Health Service Ombudsman, access information.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to take a case to Court e.g  in order to challenge a local authority’s failure to provide services.  We have experience of Judicial Review procedure and we have a contract with the Legal Services Commission to obtain Legal Aid funding which can cover the cost of proceedings in the High Court. 

Our Introduction to Community Care factsheet provides a comprehensive overview to community care law. It is written for individuals, family members, advocates or carers who need more information on the duties and powers owed by social services to disabled people.

Our factsheet list may have further reading that may assist you, click here to view the list and request factsheets online.


We provide bespoke training on aspects of Community Care law, including Mental Capacity. If you want to organise training for your organisation then click here.

If you would like to attend on of our training days, click through to view our current training schedule.