Sometimes you or your family might need financial help through bursaries or benefits

three teenagers between two houses walking and smiling

There are different types of financial help available so it is important to find out which ones you or your family might be entitled to. Young carers are also entitled to an assessment to see if their caring role is having a negative impact on their lives and see what extra support might be available.

To find out more about benefits and your rights, download our information booklet.

Below are some frequently asked questions about benefits:

The person you care for may be entitled to additional support to reduce your caring role. You are entitled to an assessment of your needs to consider what support may be needed for your family to reduce these responsibilities and any negative impacts that these may cause for you, You can contact your local young carers service to ask for help with this. The Citizens Advice ‘Advice Guide ’ is a great place to start when looking to find out about help available for ill or disabled people. The Government website also has information that can help you with this.

Young carers under 18 are entitled to an assessment of their needs. Assessments of the whole family should ascertain why a child is caring and what needs to change in order to prevent them from undertaking excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities that could affect their welfare, education, or social development. To arrange a young carer assessment contact your local young carers service, or you can apply for a needs assessment from your local social services department.

What is an assessment and how can I get one?

If you are under 18 and are a young carer, you can request or be referred for an assessment of your needs under the Children and Families Act 2014. This can help you find out about what support might be available for you, or for the person you care for, to reduce your caring role. This should also result in an assessment of the person you care for. The aim of the assessment is to create a plan that reduces or prevents you from taking on inappropriate caring responsibilities that impact negatively upon your own wellbeing.

The Care Act 2014 means that local authorities have to have a whole family approach to make sure people who need care and the people who provide care have enough help and support. If the local authority carry out an assessment of an adult or child in your family with a disability, they must also assess the needs of others in the family, including other children, to see if they are providing care and what negative impacts this may be having on the young person’s life. These assessments can be requested either by the person being cared for, the young carer, or someone else on their behalf, like a young carers worker or teacher.

When you are ready to start thinking about the future, you can also be offered a ‘transition assessment’ under the Care Act 2014. This is a chance for you to discuss what you want for the future, including higher education or employment, and what support you will need for you or the person you care for to achieve your goals. This can be done at any age and depends on the young carer and their circumstances. Some young carers might want a transitions assessment at 14 and others at 17.

If you are part of a young carers service you can talk to them about getting an assessment, or you can phone your local Young Carers Service or Children’s Services to request one. You can find the details of your local Children’s Services on your local council website.

You can find out more about your rights to an assessment on our resource pages or by downloading the Carers Trust Know your Rights booklet. 

Are there benefits for carers?

Carers Allowance

If you are in part time education or employment when you turn 16 and you are a young carer you might be entitled to some financial support through a ‘Carers Allowance.

You can claim Carers Allowance if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  • you’re over 16
  • you spend over 35 hours a week caring for someone who is accessing a disability living support benefit (such as Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payments or Attendance Allowance)
  • you are not in full time education.

However, claiming Carers Allowance may affect other benefits that you or the person you care for receives, which could result in a reduction of other financial benefits.

Always seek advice first to ensure this is the best decision for you. To find out more visit The Government website or you can find more financial and benefit information through Citizens Advice. website.

Carers Credit

Carers Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. We pay National Insurance when we earn over a certain amount of money. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record so if you are not able to work due to caring responsibilities, Carer’s Credit can help. You could be entitled if you’re caring for someone who is receiving Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independent Payments, an Attendance Allowance or Armed Force Independence Payment, for at least 20 hours a week.

Carers Premium

The ‘Carer Premium’ is a means-tested (based on your income) extra payment of up to £34.95 a week that can sometimes be included in  the calculation of benefits you might receive  on top of  Carers Allowance if you are eligible.

If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit you should contact the people who award you these (their details will be on letters they send you) and let them know you’ve been awarded Carer’s Allowance, so they can add the Carer Premium to your payment.

What benefits are my family entitled to?

The person you care for may be entitled to additional support for their needs that also reduces the impact of the  caring role you carry out for them. An assessment of their needs can be requested from your local social services. You can point them towards The Citizens Advice ‘Advice Guide’ which is a great place to start when looking to find out about help available for sick or disabled people. The government website also has information that can help you with this.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is being introduced to replace many benefits. It can be claimed by people who are out of work or on low incomes. Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages. You will be notified if you are transferred to Universal Credit. Whether you can claim Universal Credit or not depends on a range of factors, including whether your area is a ‘full service area’ or a ‘live service area’. If you are aged 18 or over and out of work or in a low-paid job, you may be eligible for Universal Credit. The amount of money you can earn before you are no longer entitled to Universal Credit depends on whether you live with a partner or not, have children, or have a disability. To find out if you are able to claim Universal credit go to the government website or Citizens Advice.