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Welfare and Entitlements

Being a carer can create a financial strain, but there is support available. Find out about the types of financial support you are entitled to.

Carer’s Allowance

Is given to those looking after someone for 35 hours a week if they are in receipt of a disability
benefit – Disability Living Allowance (care), Personal Independence Payment (daily living) or Attendance Allowance. If you are receive a state retirement pension, you would not normally qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Is a non-means tested disability benefit regarding children under the age of 16.

Attendance allowance

Is a disability benefit for those over the age of 66 (age tracking upwards as state retirement pension age increases).

Benefits for Carers who are Working Age

There may added benefits for carers who are of working age that may be received in addition to or instead of Carer’s Allowance.

Benefits for Carers who are Pension Age

Is for carers who are no longer working age, this can be in addition to receiving a state pension.

Universal Credit

Is replacing income support, housing benefit (under pension age) for all new applications. It is replacing means tested Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), child tax credits and working tax credits. The new style JSA is for those unemployed who have sufficient National Insurance record to qualify. The new style ESA is for those who were not well enough to work and who have a sufficient National Insurance record to qualify.

Direct Payments

The cared for can apply for financial support from the local authority in the form of individual
budgets so the cared for/care person can pay for services they choose directly.

Direct payments for Carers.

The carer can apply to Birmingham Social Services for direct payments to help them under the terms
of the Carers Act 2014.

Child Tax Credits

A means tested benefit for those with children for those who may or may not be working. This is being replaced by Universal Credit (all new applications are for Universal Credit).

Working Tax Credit

A means tested benefit for those employment being replaced by Universal Credit.( All new applications are for Universal Credit).

Child Benefit

Generally a non-means tested benefit, for those with children, who earn under £60,000 per year.

Grants

Are designed to help people in need. Across the UK there are thousands of awards and grant
schemes you can apply for.

Help with Health Costs

Is for those who are on a low income and/or are receiving certain means tested benefits (listed above). This can help to cover the costs of prescriptions, dental treatments, eye tests, travel, and more.

Discounted TV Licences

Free TV licences are for those who are severely slight impaired or blind, for those over the age of 74
years old who are in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credits or for those in residential care.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Support is a means tested benefit from the local authority. Reductions in the level of council tax due to severe mental impairment, disability, changes to the homes fabric.

Housing Benefit

Can help with rent if you are on a low income.

Help with Fuel Costs

Is to help people pay for their gas and electricity in the home. It may be available to you if you are over a
certain age and/or are receiving a means tested benefit. Receiving payment help for fuel costs does not affect your eligibility for any other benefits.

Things that might affect your eligibility to receive financial support:

Benefit Cap

Is the limit on the total benefits that any non-working household can receive

Bedroom Tax

For those on Housing Benefit who have bedrooms considered to be in excess of their requirements.
A percentage of the housing benefit is deducted.

Work Focused Interviews (WFI) or Work Focused Activity (WFA)

If you receive Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance you may be asked to attend work focused interviews or activities. As a carer, you may be able to challenge or exempt yourself from this.

Help with financial support for when things don’t go right

If you are struggling with your finances as a result of your caring situation, Carers Trust and Carers UK are a great source of information and advice.