Guide to Financial Support for Carers
(All links open up to the website of UK Government: www.GOV.UK)
Direct payments for carers
If you have been assessed by your local council as needing support services to help you in your caring role, you can choose direct payments. They allow you to buy in and arrange help yourself instead of receiving it directly from social services.
Caring and your pension
If you are not working or do not earn enough to pay National Insurance contributions because you are caring for someone, you may still be able to build up an entitlement to additional State Pension. As a carer you may also qualify for extra Pension Credit.
From 6 April 2010, a new Carer’s Credit has been introduced. It is a National Insurance credit which will lets carers build up qualifying years for the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. This means that there will be no gaps in your National Insurance record if you have to take on caring responsibilities.
You may be able to get Carer’s Credit if :
- you provide care for one or more disabled person(s) for a total of 20 hours or more each week
- you are not already getting Carer’s Allowance
If you are claiming Income Support and you are also entitled to Carer’s Allowance, you may be able to get an extra amount included in your Income Support.
This is called a ‘carer premium’.
The Pension Advisory Service
The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) is an independent non-profit organisation that provides free information, advice and guidance on the whole spectrum of pensions, including state, company, personal and stakeholder schemes.
Caring for a disabled child
Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit is a means-tested allowance for parents and carers of children or young people who are still in full-time education. You may get an extra amount if you are caring for a disabled child.
Sure Start Maternity Grant
This is a one-off payment to help towards the costs of a new baby if you are on a low income and receiving certain types of financial support, including Income Support and Child Tax Credit, with an extra amount for a disabled child.
The Disabled Child Premium
If you are responsible for a child under 19, or in certain circumstances under 20, you will get this premium if either:
- the dependant is getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- the dependant is registered blind
The Enhanced Disability Premium (child rate)
If the dependant gets the highest-rate care component of DLA, you may get the enhanced disabled child premium.
You do not get either premium if the dependent child has capital of more than £3,000.
Family Fund – Helping disabled children
Are the UK’s largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children and young people.
They can help with essential items such as washing machines, fridges and clothing but can also consider grants for sensory toys, computers and much needed family breaks together.