Do you look after a friend or loved one due to them having an illness or disability? You do? Then did you know that you are entitled to financial support?
Perhaps you are aware that the likes of Carer’s Allowance is out there, but don’t think you are entitled to it because you don’t see yourself as a carer. You probably see looking after your parent, spouse or child – or whoever else you may care for – as something you should do and probably want to do. So, why should you receive money to do it?
Well, the time you spend looking after your loved one is time that you can’t spend working and earning money. If this is a long-term situation, how will you get by financially? The short answer is, you won’t. This can make day-to-day life even more of a struggle and far more stressful than it already is.
So, here is an overview of the financial support you are entitled to as a carer:
Firstly, there are schemes you can become part of as a carer including:
- Motability scheme – help to lease a new car, scooter or powered wheelchair
- Blue badge parking – enabling you to park in the disabled spaces
- Disabled Persons Railcard – gives you 1/3 off rail fares
- Cinema Exhibitors’ Association Card – provides a complimentary ticket to attend the cinema with the person you care for.
- You are also entitled to free or discounted offers at museums, leisure centres and National Trust sites.
You can also apply for Carer’s Allowance – this is currently £62.10 a week and you can claim it if you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone, earn £110 or less a week, are over 16 but aren’t in full time education. The person you care for must also be receiving benefits for their illness or disability.
There are other benefits you might be able to claim, but Carer’s Allowance might affect how much you get, including Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Tax Credits and Universal Credits. You might also find that you are entitled to help with Council Tax, fuel, and health costs as well as adapting your home or carrying out repairs.
Carer’s Credit – this is National Insurance credit towards your State Pension. You can receive this if you aren’t entitled to Carer’s Allowance but spend 20 hours a week caring for someone.
Carer Premium – you may be entitled to this if you receive other benefits such as Income Support, Housing Benefits, Council Tax Support or Universal Credit, for example.
Pension Credit – you can receive this if you have reached State Pension age – but how much you receive depends on your income and savings.
If you find yourself facing an unexpected or urgent financial crisis then you may also be able to claim Local Welfare Assistance.
If you don’t understand what you are entitled to there are people out there who can advise and point you in the right direction. Don’t struggle to get by when you don’t have to!