Carers Personal Budget
People who provide unpaid care to family members or friends could be entitled to some benefits themselves including Carers Allowance and in many local authorities Carers Personal Budgets.
Carers Allowance is available to those who
- are aged 16 or over
- spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person
To qualify the person that they care for should be receiving one of the following benefits
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate for personal care)
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily Living Component
The person who is providing the care must not be in full-time education (studying 21 hours a week or more) or earn more than £100. The weekly amount that is paid for Carers Allowance is £59.75 (June 2013) and other benefits are taken into account when calculating the rate payable, this means that If the person who is providing care receives a state pension or other certain benefits of more than £59.75 per week then they will not be able to get any Carer's Allowance payments. However they may still want to apply for Carers Allowance as being granted an 'underlying entitlement' could help in with other benefits such as Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance and Council Tax Benefit.
Before claiming Carers Allowance it is worth taking some advice as any money received could have a negative impact on the benefits that the person being cared for is entitled to. You can find out further information from the Carers UK, Carers Trust or from Direct.gov
You can claim Carers Allowance through the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Website
Carers Personal Budget
Many local authorities are offering carers a personal budget of their own. This is generally a one off payment which enables carers to have a break from caring. This could be anything from a holiday to attending college courses, having pampering sessions or taking some short breaks.
People qualify for a Carers Personal Budget if they are an unpaid carer (Carers Allowance is not classed as a payment), they have had a carers assessment and this has shown that the carers needs cannot be met in another way.
To find out if you are able to get a Carers Personal Budget in your local area contact your local Adult Services Team