As a carer you may be entitled to some of the benefits listed below.
Carer’s allowance is paid to help you look after someone with substantial care needs. You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person your care for. You must be:
- 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them
- Not be in full time education or studying for 21 hours a week or more
- Earn no more than a specified amount a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension).
Carer’s allowance is taxable. It can also affect your other benefits and/or you may also be able to claim other benefits. You cannot normally get two income-replacement benefits (e.g. carer’s allowance and the state pension) paid together.
Usually, for each week you get carer’s allowance or the underlying entitlement you also get national insurance credits and contributions to your additional state pension. You should still apply for carer’s allowance even if you get these as your benefits might be increased.
Cold weather payments
If you’re receiving certain benefits you may be able to get a cold weather payment for each week that the average temperature in your local area is at or below freezing
Council tax discounts
People who live alone qualify for a 25% council tax discount. If there is no-one in the property, the discount will be 50%. Certain people, including some carers and people with a severe mental impairment, are not counted when the council works out how many people live in a property.
Council tax reduction
Each council has its own rules for council tax reduction, which helps people on low incomes pay their council tax. To apply contact your local council benefits department.
Disability reduction scheme
You may be able to pay less council tax under the disability reduction scheme, if your home has had work carried out on it to help you or someone else living there with a disability.
Warm home discounts
The warm home discount scheme means you could get a discount on your electricity bill if you meet certain criteria.
Winter fuel payments
If you have reached the qualifying age you may be entitled to a winter fuel payment, to help pay winter bills. This can be £100-£300 depending on circumstances.