Benefits for carers

Carer's allowance is money for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care to someone who has a disability. The person being cared for must be receiving a relevant benefit because of their disability, which in some cases has to be paid at a certain rate. The carer does not have to be related to, or live with, the person they care for to get carer’s allowance. They can qualify for carer’s allowance whether they are in or out of work. Carer’s Allowance does not depend on national insurance contributions and it is not means tested but earnings may affect entitlement. Carers in receipt of carer's allowance who are temporarily unable to care for someone, either because either they or the person they care for has coronavirus, can continue to be paid carer's allowance.

If the usual arrangements for care and support that a person uses are not available as a result of COVID-19, it may be necessary to put contingency plans into action. For example, family members might be able to step in and support to ensure that people continue to receive the care they need; and local authorities and clinical commissioning groups should adopt a flexible approach to how direct payments are used during this period, to ensure that appropriate care is delivered. Local authorities should consider requests to pay a close family member to provide care if the local authority determines this to be necessary.

For family members and friends who step in as carers to ensure that people receive the care that they need, it can feel overwhelming. However, there is support available to you to ensure that you are receiving the benefits that you are entitled to.

Social services can assess needs of, and provide care and support to, adults with illness or disabilities and their carers under the Care Act 2014. Although, emergency measures brought in during the pandemic change some of the duties social services have towards vulnerable people, social services should continue to comply with their duties wherever possible and can’t refuse to help if doing so would breach your human rights or those of the person you care for.