It is common to worry about the financial implications of becoming a carer. This can be particularly true if you need to give up work or if your friend or relative requires specialist care or equipment.
You might be pleasantly surprised about the financial support that is available for you though. You just need to know where to look for it and how to ask for it.
Since it can sometimes be hard to know where to start, we have put together information about the main types of financial support you could be eligible for.
A good place to begin is by finding out about the benefits you and the person you care for may be entitled to. There are lots of different types of benefit, and the system can be confusing especially if you are new to it. Take a look at our guide ‘Checking the benefits you can claim’ for an overview of what you could be entitled to.
If you want to find out more about a particular type of benefit, we have separate guides covering ‘Carer’s Allowance’, ‘Universal Credit’, ‘Pension Credit’, ‘Attendance Allowance’, ‘Personal Independence Payment’ and ‘Disability Living Allowance for children’, which discuss each of these in a little more depth.
The local authority is also a good first port of call for carers, as a lot of the responsibility for social care is devolved to them. We discuss the financial support they can give you in our guide ‘Getting local council funding for care costs’. We also have more information about everything else that your council could provide for you in our guide ‘What help can I get from my local authority as a carer?’
We also provide a range of advice if you would like to find out more about the financial support available to help with running and equipping your home. Our guides 'Help with your Council Tax bill', 'Help with your energy bills as a carer' and 'Help with your water bills as a carer' provide an overview of the financial support available to help pay your household bills. Plus, our guide 'Help with budgeting as a carer' can help you to plan your spending so that you don't have more going out than you have coming in. We also provide further information about financial help you can get towards adaptations to your home so that it is more accessible for the person you care for in our guide 'Financial support for home adaptations'.
There are also lots of organisations who make grants to people just like you, to help with a range of situations and circumstances. These can make a life-changing difference to some carers and the people they care for. Grants can be particularly helpful for one-off costs you would otherwise struggle to cover. Take a look at our guide ‘Grants to support you as a carer’ for further details.
It is also worth taking the time to make sure you don’t miss out on vital contributions to your State Pension. If you give up work when you become a carer, for instance, you will likely stop paying National Insurance and this can affect your ability to qualify for a pension later in life. Take a look at our guide ‘Protecting your State Pension as a carer’ for further details about how to make sure you remain eligible for yours.
And finally, if the coronavirus pandemic has impacted your finances, then we can help. MoneyHelper have lent us their Money Navigator tool to give you impartial advice and support, tailored to your specific circumstances. Take a look at our guide 'Support if the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted your finances' to use this handy tool.