Support And Benefits Available For Carers
It is estimated there are 5 million carers in the UK. Carers are often unsung heroes, especially as caring for someone else can be physically as well as emotionally draining work.
If you or someone you know is a carer, then it’s always worth checking that any applicable benefits are being claimed. Likewise, that emotional support is being accessed to ensure that your wellbeing needs are being met.
Whether you are new to caring or are unsure about what benefits you might be entitled to, here are our top tips from the Fair For You team.
What Benefits Are Carers Entitled To?
Specific benefits apply for carers, though depending on your personal circumstances, you may be entitled to additional benefits.
The main thing to note with carer-specific benefits is that these often depend on the person you care for also being entitled to claim benefits.
The main benefit for UK carers is the Carer’s Allowance. At the time of writing, the Carer’s Allowance pays £76.75 a week or £3,991 per year.
Carer’s Allowance is available for those who:
Are 16 or over
Spend at least 35 hours per week caring for someone
Are not in full-time education
Earn £139 or less per week after tax and National Insurance
To qualify for Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for must also be receiving a benefit such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or the Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Similar to the other benefits for carers, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance through the UK Government website. Make sure you have all your paperwork handy such as your National Insurance number, bank details, employment details and P45 if applicable.
For those who qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you may be entitled to Carer Premium.
The Carer Premium (also known as the Carer Addition) is worth £42.75 per week, which could work out as an extra £2,223 per year.
There is also the Carer Element of Universal Credit which is worth £185.86 a month. The Carer Element is paid on top of your Universal Credit payment.
Carer’s Credit helps fill any gaps in your National Insurance record to top up your State Pension. It’s really important to ensure your State Pension won’t be reduced in the future due to your current caring role if you aren’t making contributions to National Insurance.
While Carer’s Credit is easy to overlook, claiming this now will help prevent you from struggling in the future when you come to rely on your State Pension.
Other Benefits You May Be Able To Claim
As noted above, to qualify for financial support as a carer, you often need to receive benefits and the person you are caring for must also be on certain benefits.
Focusing on you as a carer, the types of benefits you could be entitled to have now been rolled into Universal Credit. These were previously known as council tax reduction, housing benefit, income support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or income-based Jobseeker's Allowance.
If you think you could be entitled to any benefits due to being unemployed or having a low income, then use the benefits calculator to check.
Accessing Additional Support As A Carer
Beyond financial support, it’s arguably just as important to receive emotional and wellbeing support as a carer.
The Carers Trust is an online database of local carers support centres in your area. Enter your postcode and you’ll be shown centres near you. This will give you access to support for young carers, caring for specific mental or physical health conditions, taking a break as a carer and other important services you may find useful.
Fair For You - The UK’s #1 Flexible Credit Provider
For any carers reading this post, know that what you do is a very important job. We hope the above information will point you in the right direction to ensure you’re claiming any benefits that you’re entitled to.
Fair For You helps those on a low income including carers to help afford the things they need for their home. We offer a flexible repayment system so that you can spread the cost at a rate which you can afford to pay back.
Check out how fair for you works to learn more about us.