Carers Rights Day, 25 November 2016
Carers Trust Cambridgeshire are reaching out to carers in November to remind them of the rights and the benefits they are entitled to while carrying out their caring duties.
The theme of this year’s Carers Rights Day is Carers Getting the Right Information at the Right Time, as well as informing them about support available to them to protect their health and well being. Events are being held around the county to highlight the crucial messages behind Carers Rights Days and provide carers with the information they need.
Being a carer can have financial implications. Carers UK says that almost 1 in 3 (30%) carers had seen a drop of £20,000 or more a year in their household income as a result of caring. Nearly 8 out of 10 families say caring for someone has had an impact on their finances. People don’t plan ahead to become carers, but a chronic illness or sudden accident suffered by a loved one means their life has irrevocably changed, causing financial havoc for some.
Many carers are not aware that they are entitled to benefits and financial support, missing out potentially on hundreds or thousands of pounds, and it is crucial they access these funds at a time when it is needed most to reduce worry and stress.
Carers UK has produced a Carers Rights Guide that outlines the rights of the carer and the person they care for, with information needed for practical and financial support that is available. This includes:
- The Carer’s Allowance
- Carer’s Credit, if not entitled to the Carer’s Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance, for children under 16 years old
- Personal Independent Payment, for people aged 16-64 years old
- A Carer’s Assessment
- Respite Break
- Council Tax reduction
- Disability Facilities Grant to adapt your home
- Help with fuel costs
- Free NHS health costs, such as prescriptions and eye tests, if your income is below a certain amount
Cambridgeshire County Council has a benefits factsheet for carers too. Any carer should be offered an assessment by their local authority. Carers Trust Cambridgeshire is the largest provider of support for carers and offers this service, as well as providing information on Carers rights and other support services, such as the What If? emergency planning scheme and Family Carers Prescription to give you a break.
Caring in the Workplace
Many people feel forced to give up work when faced with intensive caring responsibilities which could have implications on their future pension entitlement, as well as their standard of living. The Equality Act 2010 provides cares with protection from some forms of discrimination. You can also ask your employer if they have a carers policy.
If you are an employee but also have caring responsibilities for children, elderly relatives or dependants you:
- can apply for the right to request flexible working
- are entitled to time off for dependants to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Carers can find out information about the benefits they are entitled to from the following links:
- Carers UK offers advice on the rights of a carer in the workplace: click here
- Carers UK – Carers Rights Guide: click here
- Carers Trust – Money & Benefits: click here
- ACAS, carers rights in the workplace: click here
- Cambridgeshire County Council’s factsheets: click here
Please call Carers Trust Cambridgeshire on 01480 499090, or email [email protected] if you would like a Carers Assessment or further information about benefits and support available for carers.
- Care Act factsheets from the Department of Health: click here
- NHS Choices, Employment Rights for Carers: click here
- Skills for Care, Balancing Work and Care, a Carer’s guide: click here
*Carers UK, financial implications of being a carer; Carers Rights Guide 2016, Carers UK: click here