Caring for a family member: your rights

Whether you’re suddenly facing the prospect of providing care for a family member or have gradually taken on more responsibilities, being a carer is equally as challenging as it is rewarding. That’s why there is support available, both financially and practically, from the government. It’s important to know your rights so you can access this support. It all starts with a Carer’s Assessment.

Get assessed

The rules and regulations around the support available to informal carers, that is individuals who provide care without payment, can be complicated. To find out your carer rights, the first step is to call your local authority’s social services department to request a Carer’s Assessment. As part of your assessment, you will be able to talk about how you provide care and how this affects your life. Your assessor will then be able to tell you about the support available for your circumstances.

What carer rights could you be entitled to?

Depending on your particular situation, you could have the right to financial support in the form of council tax exemptions, housing benefit for rent and income support and pension credits for living expenses. You may also be entitled to a Carer’s Allowance, dependent on your income and age, as well as the requirement that you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for your loved one and that they qualify for a disability benefit.

Carer rights also include practical support from social services, such as help at home and counselling to help you better cope with the stress of being a carer. Juggling work with life as a carer can often add to the stress, which is why you are within your rights to request flexible working arrangements from your employer, although your employer is not obliged to agree to them.

Have you considered live in care?

Should a time come when you’re unable to provide all the care your loved one needs, you needn’t resign yourself to placing your loved one into residential care. At Patricia White's, we provide live in care and support so your loved one can retain their independence for as long as possible from the comfort of their own home.

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