Caring for someone may entitle you to benefits. If you already receive these it may also be a good idea to have a benefits check, especially if your household situation has changed. Contact us for more information on how to go about this.
You can also download a useful guide to changes to carers' benefits from the Carers UK website.
Carer's Allowance (CA)
If the person you care for receives Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - middle or highest rate for personal care - or Attendance Allowance (AA) you may be entitled to Carer's Allowance. The cared for person can be a relative, friend or neighbour of any age.
• care for at least 35 hours per week (can include being on call at night)
• be aged over 16
• not be in full time education
• not earn over a weekly earnings limit
Home Responsibilities Protection (HRP)
If you are not working because of caring responsibilities, and therefore not paying National Insurance contributions, you can protect some of your entitlement to state pension by registering each year for HRP.
This should happen automatically if you are receiving CA (or child benefit), otherwise you can notify your local JobCentre Plus.
For the person you care for:
Disability Living Allowance
This is an allowance for people with disabilities, both adults and children, people who need help looking after themselves and who find it difficult to work or get around.
Paid to people aged 65 and over who are in need of a lot of assistance with personal care. They do not actually have to have someone giving that help, and they can be entitled even if they live alone.
Other financial help:
Income Support/Pension Credit
Means tested benefits paid to people on a very low income with few savings. Being a carer in receipt of CA will lift your eligibility level and may therefore entitle you to support that would not be paid if you were not a carer.
Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit
Help with paying rent and council tax for people on a low income. Council tax reductions can also be obtained if someone in the household is 'severely mentally impaired' or if the house has been adapted specifically for use by a disabled person or if someone lives alone. Enquiries should go to your District Council.
Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) also has some funds available for payments to help carers who are under pressure, but whose needs are not easily met through current services. Grants can be made following a carer's assessment with a social worker which Carers in Hertfordshire can help to arrange if needed.
More information about all of the above, including how to claim, can be found in our Factsheet G2: Benefits for Carers or contact us if you need any help.