Carers FIRST has 3 dedicated Carers Benefits Advisors who work across Kent and Medway, Lincolnshire and Waltham Forest. They are highly experienced in providing general and more personalised advice on carer rights including disability and welfare benefits.
If you have questions about or difficulty with wellfare benefits, don’t delay or put things off until later. Carers FIRST can help. Whether it’s finding out what you could be entitled to, or getting assistance with filling in forms, we may be able to help or suggest other support locally that you can tap into.
Ask your Care Support and Advice Coordinator (CSAC) as they are familiar with many of the benefit forms you may need to tackle, and you should talk to them in the first instance.
Or you can ask for an appointment to speak to the advisor in your area. Our Advisors run regular face to face surgeries in community venues and and at least 2 phone out surgeries are run each week. Appointments can be made by calling our Carers Hub on 0300 303 1555.
The key benefits are below. Click on each heading for a more detailed leaflet provided by Carers UK and see our download section for information about other benefits.
Carers Allowance: is the main benefit for working age carers. You may be eligible if you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more who gets a qualifying disability benefit and earn less than £110 per week. This is NOT means tested.
Attendance Allowance: is a state benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental. It is for people aged 65 and over and is paid to the person with the health condition.
Personal Independence Allowance (PIP): is a benefit for people aged between 16 and 64 years old and who have a long term illness or disability. Claiming this benefits can help the person you care for qualify for other benefits and or tax credits
Disability Living Allowance: is a benefit for those looking after a child with a health condition or disability who is under the age of 16 years. This can help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child. DLA is NOT means testing. Note, people aged 16-64 can no longer make a new claim of DLA, and should instead claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance if you are 65 years of age or older.
Employment Support Allowance (ESA): is an income based benefit for people aged 16 to state pension age, who are unable to work because of their own health condition. ESA has replaced all previous sickness benefits such as Income Support due to illness, Incapacity Benefit, and Severe Disability Allowance.
Pension Credits: is a means-tested benefit for people who have reached 'state pension credit age' and who have income and capital below a certain amount.
Help with Council Tax: Council tax is a local form of taxation on domestic property and is collected by local councils (often referred to as local authorities). There are a number of ways in which people can get help with council tax. Read more >>
To find out what the current benefit rates are click here >> There are also some useful websites:
Click HERE to visit the NHS choices website Care and Support area, which has information about eligibility, amounts payable, and how to apply.
Carers UK provides a wealth of information which breaks down the complex issues simply and accurately so you get the full picture of the support available and how to get it. All of our factsheets can be download and if you are a carer and would like to order a free copy of any of the factsheets, contact the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Turn 2 Us is an easy to use tool which uses plain and simple language which provides provides guidance on how to claim for the benefitswhich you may be entitled with amounts calculated weekly and annually. If you don’t understand one of the questions, there is a help button to explain the terminology.
On the same site is another function which enables you to find out about any grants to which you may be entitled from a database resource of thousands of charities. This can be filtered to meet your personal circumstances and tells you what the grant may be used for.
The site is absolutely free and available 24/7 without the need to confide your personal details to a third party.
There is also a free helpline on 0808 802 2000 (Monday to Friday 9am– 8pm) where the trained staff will use the benefits calculator for you but please check out the details you will need to have available before you call.
Turn2Us is part of Elizabeth Finn Care, a registered charity
Age UK provide a useful tool on their website which, based on the information you provide - such as whether you're single/in a couple, where you live, if you care for anyone - will tell you if you're potentially entitled to claim extra money.
Their money matters pages also provides advice on debt, money-saving tips and information on making a will and power of attorney
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