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Carers often put another’s needs before their own and the role itself can be extremely demanding. Being a carer can gradually impact many aspects of an individual’s life including their physical and mental health, career, relationships and social life. Self-care and awareness of the available support is therefore important to ensure a carer looks after their own wellbeing.
Financial support may be available to those who care for another. The first step towards understanding whether financial support is available from the council is to arrange for a Carer’s Assessment to be completed. A Carer’s Assessment will consider the level of care required for the individual that needs support and how this impacts the carer. The council will then provide information on the support options and financial benefits available.
Carer’s Allowance is the main welfare benefit available to financially support carers. Carer's Allowance is currently £64.60 per week (April 2018-2019) and is available to those who are:
Visit GOV UK to find out more about Carer's Allowance and how to claim. If Carer’s Allowance is not available, a carer might still be eligible for other benefits.
The rules are slightly different in Northern Ireland. Carer’s Allowance may be available to those aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is ill or has a disability. To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, both the carer and the looked after person must meet certain criteria. Find out more here: NI Direct.
The rules vary further in Ireland. Carer’s Allowance is means tested in Ireland which involves assessing income, occupational pensions and maintenance payments. It is mainly paid to carers on low incomes, who look after people with certain care needs. The rate of Carer’s Allowance can vary. For more information and to apply visit: Citizens Information.
Caring for someone can be an extremely challenging and demanding job. It is important that carers look after their own wellbeing and consider accessing support from friends, family and their GP.
Many charities provide lots of useful online resources that can be accessed at any time, such as advice articles and forums. Local support groups and networks enable carers to talk to others in a similar situation to themselves and share experiences through support and social activities. See Age UK, Carers UK and the Alzheimer’s Society for more information.
Taking breaks from time to time is also extremely important as being a carer can be exhausting. Respite provides a break for carers, allowing the opportunity to take some much needed rest. Respite can be arranged informally, by asking friends and family for support, or by contacting local respite centres.
Contact your local council, Carers Trust or Carers UK for more information about local respite options.
If you feel as though you need further assistance with any of the topics mentioned in this guidance, please call our helpline on:
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