Caring for someone may mean our households have additional costs, or it may be there are things that would help but we just can’t afford them right now. The situation may have changed because of Coronavirus or it may just be time to review what options we have.
Carers have been telling us that having a clear idea about the kind of things that could make a difference, will help us to identify where that support might come from. They tell us the following are worth looking into:
If the person we are caring for is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance at the higher rate (or similar) we may be eligible for Carers Allowance. Complete our speedy Carer's Allowance Checker to find out if you qualify. For a comprehensive benefits check try the Turn2us Benefits Calculator. or speak to your local Citizens' Advice Bureau.
Don't forget, in winter, there are an additional set of payments and discounts that might be handy - take a look at our Blog - Financial Support in Winter for Carers
Local councils are responsible for assessing the needs of the people we care for (often called a care assessment) as well as assessing your needs as a carer (a carer's assessment). This may lead to a referral or direct payment that can be used for specific support such as:
Equipment or alterations to help you care safely
Equipment or alterations to improve the independence of the person you are caring for
Regular care or domestic help
Access to exercise programmes or support groups
Other things that will help you to manage the impact of caring
Assessments may be carried out by the council or local carers support organisation. Find out who the local council responsible for adult social care is here (it's normally a county council) and look for 'social care' on their website. Some websites are tricky to navigate, if you need help you can complete our mini carer's assessment and we'll get back to you.
For some of us things might be particularly hard at the moment, do ask your local council about any Coronavirus Hardship Funds or other schemes that may help - most councils have a "Covid-19" section on their website with local details.
Grants and other sources of funding
This web page from Carers Trust is a helpful place to start. It includes organisations that support people with specific disabilities or illnesses, people of different ages and benevolent funds that may be relevant depending on where you work or have worked in the past.
It might also be worth checking with your GP practice, some have started offering “Social Prescribing”, though it might be called something else where you live. A local champion can talk to you about what is available in your area that might help you and the people you are caring for to look after your health and wellbeing.
Don’t get stuck!
If sorting these things out feels overwhelming or we don’t know where to start we can book a 30 minute 1-1 with one of our carer support team, let's work out some easy first steps (You don’t have to do this on your own)
Let me know how you get on….it helps us to support others like you
We know that what is available can vary depending on where you live, we also know there are some hidden gems that it would be good to share with other carers. Many organisations are experiencing higher demand for their services due to Coronavirus but are continuing to respond to new enquiries. Please do tell me about your experience of any of the above or other ideas that carers could try. Drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org