Benefits, Carers Allowance and Carers Rights

There are a number of benefits that you and the person you care for may be entitled to. The main benefit for carers is Carers Allowance and for the cared for are PIP (Personal independence Payment) for those aged 16-64, DLA (Disability Living Allowance) for children aged under 16 and Attendance Allowance for people aged 65 or over.

Carers Allowance

Carers Allowance is a benefit of £62.10 per week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.  In order for you to claim Carers Allowance the person you care for must be in receipt of PIP, DLA or Attendance Allowance.

You don’t need to be related to, or live with the person you care for, but you do need to be aged over 16, spend at least 35 hours per week caring for them, and earn less than £110 per week.

If you are not entitled to Carers Allowance but care for someone for at least 20 hrs a week you may be entitled to Carers Credit which will ensure you do not miss out on National Insurance Contributions which will go towards your State Pension.

For further information, contact the DWP Carers Allowance unit on 0345 608 4321 or apply for Carers Allowance online

Carers Allowance is taxable and may affect your other benefits – if you are claiming other earnings-related benefits (such as Job Seekers, Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or a State Pension) OR if the person you care for lives alone.

Benefits for the Cared for

Benefits for the cared for are to help cover some costs of long-term illness or disability these benefits are:

PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is for people aged 16-64 to claim call the DWP on 0800 917 2222
DLA (Disability Living Allowance) is for children aged under 16 years old to claim you can visit www..gov.uk/disability-living-allowance-children/how-to-claim or call the DWP on 0345 712 3456
Attendance Allowance is for people over 65 or over to claim call 0345 605 6055

There are a lot of Changes to In and Out of work Benefits, for more information download this booklet: Welfare_Changes_April_2016_(3) 

Nottingham City

  • Welfare Rights (Nottingham City only) – offering information and advice on benefits and entitlements, 0115 915 1355
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) – from a landline 0844 848 7997 from a mobile 0300 330 5457  CAB is part of Advice Nottingham, a consortium of advice agencies throughout Nottingham offering confidential, impartial and independent advice on welfare benefits, housing issues, debt and employment visit www.advicenottingham.org.uk
  • Disability Direct – information and advice to promote your independence, 0115 958 3948

Nationally

Carers Rights

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 came into force on April 1st 2015.  The Act for the first time gives carers the legal right to recognition and entitlement to support in their own right.
Local Authorities now have a responsibility to, “assess a carers needs for support where the carer appears to have such needs,” this now applies not just to carers who provide a substantive amount of care on a regular basis.

The Care Act 2014 also states that local authorities must provide all carers, even those not eligible for services in their own right, with information and advice in regards to:

  • How to access care, support and services that can prevent or delay a carers needs increasing
  • What services or and providers they can choose from
  • Where to get independent financial advice
  • Information about Safeguarding and who to contact if you have concerns about a vulnerable person being at risk of harm or neglect.

For more information about the Care Act 2014 you can download this fact sheet from CarersUK  assessments-and-the-care-act-after-april-2015

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 states that employers and providers of goods and services must not treat carers less favourably than those without caring responsibilities

Carers in the Workplace

Carers have certain employment rights such as:

  • Flexible Working – Carers have the right to request flexible working hours to help mange their caring responsibilities. Employers can only refuse for certain specified reasons.
  • Time off for Emergencies – Carers have the right to take a ‘reasonable’ amount of time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependent. It is at the employer’s discretion whether the leave is paid or unpaid.
  • Parental Leave – If you have been in employment for over a year and have responsibility for a disabled child who is in receipt of DLA you are entitled to 18 weeks unpaid leave up to their birthday

If you feel that caring could, or does affect your work life, the following contacts may be useful:

  • ACAS Adviceline – free, impartial and confidential advice for any employer, employee or representative. Help with any query about employment rights and rules, best practice or disputes – 08457 474747
  • Carers UK adviceline – for all carer-related enquiries – 0808 808 7777 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm) or email advice@carersuk.org