The government provides a variety of benefits for both you and the person you care for and you should not be reluctant to claim them.
As a carer, you may be entitled to some benefits, whether you do paid work or not. The welfare benefits system is complicated and if you plan to claim benefits it is important to speak to an advice service first as your claim may affect the benefits for the person you care for.
Benefits you may be entitled to include
- Carer’s Allowance,
- Income Support,
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit,
- Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.
You could also be entitled to receive a Direct Payment. Carers Direct Payments enable carers to purchase the services they are assessed as needing, not only to support them in their caring role, but also to maintain their own health and wellbeing and to improve their opportunities in relation to work, education, training and leisure. They are accessed through a carer’s assessment and are completely separate from any payment for the person they care for. In order to be eligible for a Carers Direct Payment, the carer must be caring for someone who is eligible for social care services but does not necessarily need to be receiving those services. Carers Direct Payments can be used very flexibly for a variety of things such as help towards driving lessons, purchase of a mobile phone or computer, educational or leisure courses, gardening, housework, holistic therapies and help towards holidays. The payments must be used to help and support the carer to continue in their caring role. You can find out more about Direct Payments on the Help to Live at Home page or from Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living who can also help you plan and manage a Direct Payment.
If the person you care for is responsible for funding the cost of their own long term care it is important that you seek specialist information and advice and explore all the options available before entering into any commitment.
The Wiltshire carers pooled budget funds Wiltshire Citizens Advice to provide a benefit, debt and money management support and advice service to carers. They offer holistic advice delivered by quality assured trained advisors. Information is given on the law, rights and obligations and services available. Clients are offered an initial assessment to explore their problems and find the best way of helping them. Advice areas are:
- Welfare benefits
- Money and debt advice
- Consumer issues
- Family and personal matters
- Immigration and nationality
You can contact Wiltshire Citizens Advice on 01249 454733 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unsure of your entitlements and you feel that you require assistance in accessing the benefits system, you can ask the customer advisors at Wiltshire Council for a benefits check: call 0300 456 0111 or you can use the benefits checker on the GOV.UK Website.
Age UK Wiltshire and Carer Support Wiltshire are offering a free session for anyone interested in finding out more about benefit entitlement, managing money, paying for care and planning for the future. You can see the most up to date training and education programme on the Carer Support Wiltshire website.
- GOV.UK - Carers
- GOV.UK - A Guide to Lasting Power of Attorney
- Age UK
- Carers UK
- Carers Trust
- Wiltshire Community Bank
- Money Advice Service
Last updated: 22 May 2014