As a carer, there may be benefits, grants or other financial support available to you. You may be entitled to...
- Attendance Allowance: this benefit is to help to pay for personal care for those that have reached the State Pension age and have a disability or illness that makes it hard to look after yourself. Therefore this may be a benefit that would be granted to the person you care for but can contribute towards your support.
- Carer's Allowance (currently £67.25 per week): if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and the person you care for is getting a benefit because of their disability. The government has confirmed that providing emotional support counts towards the threshold of 35 hours of care a week across the UK.
- Carer's Credit: if you are under State Pension age and you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week. Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record which allows you to take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the State Pension.
- Universal Credit: if you are on a low income or unemployed, you may be able to claim Universal Credit (UC) which is a means-tested benefit (meaning the amount of income and capital you have can affect your eligibility).
You can use the Turn2us online benefits calculator for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours.
If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) make a decision about your benefits that you do not agree with you can challenge this decision.
Before you appeal you must usually ask for the decision about your benefits to be looked at again - this is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’. Do this unless your decision letter states that you can appeal straight away. The letter will explain why you do not need a mandatory reconsideration - include this when you submit your appeal.
Appeal to the tribunal within one month of getting your mandatory reconsideration decision. If you start your appeal after a month you’ll have to explain why you did not do it earlier. Your appeal might not be accepted.
Who can help me understand my benefits entitlement, help me apply and support me with an appeal?
You can apply for any of these benefits directly yourself using the link on each of the benefit types above or you can get help from a range of local services who can discuss your financial situation, impartially, with you:
Tel: 01642 488977 E-mail: email@example.com
Address (Middlesbrough): The TAD Centre, Ormesby Road, Middlesbrough, TS3 7SF.
Address (Redcar): The Innovation Centre, Vienna Court, Kirkleatham Business Park, Redcar, TS10 5SH.
Adviceline: 0344 499 4110 Office Tel: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Middlesbrough CAB, 9 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, TS1 1TH
Tel: 01642 729242 E-mail: email@example.com
Address: Welfare Rights Unit, 1st Floor, Civic Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FZ
Tel: 01642 771166 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Welfare Rights, Belmont House, Rectory Lane, Guisborough, TS14 7FD.
Adviceline: 03444111444 Office Tel: 01642 030000 E-mail: email@example.com
Address: Redcar CAB, 17 Queen Street, Redcar, Cleveland, TS10 1AB.
Time off from your caring role
Caring for someone can be hard and getting time off isn’t easy. Most carers need a break from time to time. It’s really important that you try to build in some time off for yourself, however hard that may seem.
How this will be paid for depends on your needs, some carers will only need a few hours a week and may be able to manage this with support from family and friends, others will need more formal overnight breaks. Find out more about your options for taking time off from your caring role and how this can be paid for.
Do I need to pay for care?
Care and support services are not free. Most people have to pay something towards their own care and some will have to pay for all of the costs. The Local Authority may help towards the cost of your care, but this help is means-tested. This means that the amount you have to pay will depends on the type of care and support that you need and how much you can afford to pay towards your care each week.
You may be able to access financial support through a Carer's Assessment. Your local authority may offer financial support directly to you to reduce any negative impacts of your caring role. Or they might provide alternative care for the person you’re caring for so that you can take a break.
You may then need a financial assessment to see whether you’ll need to pay anything towards, or for all of, any help that is offered to you which will be coordinated through the local authority. The assessment may recommend financial help with things like; help with taxi fares if you do not drive, putting care in place so you can have a break from your caring role, gym membership and exercise classes to relieve stress or support with gardening or housework.
If you'd like help or advice, please contact:
Redcar & Cleveland Social Services Telephone: 01642 065070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Independent organisations who can provide advice on paying for care:
- Age UK on freephone 0800 169 6565
- Independent Age on freephone 0800 319 6789
- the Money Advice Service on freephone 0800 138 7777
Find a specialist care fees adviser in your area with:
- PayingForCare, a free information service for older people
- the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) on 0333 2020 454
What other financial support is available?
Housing and Heating costs: As an unpaid carer, you and the person you care for can get help with Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, mortgage payments, heating your home and extra help from energy suppliers.
Money Advice about Home Repairs:
The Staying Put Agency Staying Put Agency (Middlesbrough) help's older people (60+), people with disabilities (18+) and people who are vulnerable to live more independently. The Agency will provide information about financial assistance for repairs, improvements or adaptations to your home (such as bathing, accessing the toilet, and going up and downstairs). Telephone: 08005875184
Handyperson and Adaptations Team (Redcar & Cleveland). The Handyperson and Adaptations Team offers assistance to older, disabled and vulnerable people across Redcar & Cleveland by providing advice on housing options, minor and major housing adaptations as well as delivering a handyperson service for small jobs.
Health and Care costs: You, and/or the person you care for, may be able to get help with health costs such as prescriptions, eye tests, dental treatment and with arranging and paying for care and support. You may also be able to have more say in how the support you get is organised and paid for.
Grants and discounts: You may be able to apply for extra money from grants or benevolent funds, or get money off your TV licence or car tax.
- Turn2us is a free service that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face. The website has a free and easy to use grants search and benefits calculator.
- Disability Grants has details of charities and trusts which give out grants to disabled people and their families and carers.
Travel costs: If you have disabilities or are a carer you may be entitled to free or discounted travel on public transport. If you are a driver you may be entitled to an exemption from paying car road tax, and to a blue badge that gives you parking concessions.
Carers often worry about what would happen if they were delayed, taken ill or called away. Carers Together can provide a free Carers Card which offers peace of mind for the carer and for the person they care for, knowing an agreed plan can be activated in an emergency. The Carers Card can also provide you access to discounts at several independent businesses. Contact Carers Together for more information: Telephone: (01642) 488977 Email: email@example.com