Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Funding for carers: Benefits and tax credits for carers

Many carers don’t know that there is funding they may be entitled to. There are many types of funding available for carers. If you want to know more about what funding you may be able to receive and how to apply for funding, read on.

What type of funding can carers receive?

As a carer, you should know that you are able to receive certain types of funding to help with your daily living needs. There are a number of funding methods available for you. First, you need to be assessed in order to establish if you qualify for certain types of funding.

Some of the types of funding available for carers are:

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Credit
  • Local welfare assistance
  • Carer premium
  • Pension credit
  • Other benefits

Depending on your situation, you may be able to receive funding for carers. If you do not qualify for that, there are still other options available. These funding options come in the form of benefits or tax credits.

It is important to know your options because funding for carers is for any carer who requires it. If you are entitled to it, you should know and claim the funding you are entitled to.

You should note though that if you are already receiving certain benefits, for instance, receiving funding may have an impact on your other benefits you may be claiming. So you should always inform yourself well about the type of funding you aim to apply for.

How can carers qualify for funding?

How can you qualify for funding if you are a carer? Every type of funding requires you to go through an application process. They all have different criteria through which they decide whether or not you are eligible for that particular type of funding.

Carer’s Allowance

The Carer’s Allowance for the year 2020/21 is marked at £67.25 per week. You can qualify for Carer’s Allowance if:

  • You are over 16 years of age
  • You are not in full-time education or studying for 21 hours per week
  • You care for someone for a minimum of 35 hours per week
  • You earn £128 per week

You should note that when applying for this type of funding your total earnings are calculated after-tax, care costs while you are working, as well as half of the pension payments. Moreover, the person that you care for should also be a receiver of a type of benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance.

As stated above, claiming funding in the form of Carer’s Allowance may impact any other benefits you may receive. More than this, if the person that you are caring for is also receiving some form of funding, your Carer’s Allowance will have an impact on their funding or stop it completely. If you are unsure of what you can do, you should speak to a financial adviser if possible, if not you can enquire with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Carer’s Credit

The Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit which helps cover gaps in your National Insurance record. This goes toward your state pension. You may qualify for this funding if:

  • You are over 16 years of age
  • You care for someone for a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • You are not receiving state pension yet

In order to qualify for this type of funding the person that you are caring for should be a recipient of Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Armed Forces Independent Payment or Disability Living Allowance.

If the person that you are caring for does not receive any of these types of funding, you may still be eligible for Carer’s Credit. You should complete a Care Certificate when you are applying for Carer’s Credit.

Other types of funding for carers

If you do not qualify for any of the two types of funding listed above you may want to try Carer Premium. You may be eligible for this funding if you already get Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support, Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance.

If you have reached your state pension age, you may apply for pension credit. The amount of funding you will get from pension credit depends on whether you are single or married and how much income and savings you have.

In the case of urgent financial funding support, you can apply for local welfare assistance. If you are on a low income there are funding options available for you. These funding options can help you cover the costs of health costs, council tax, fuel or home reparations.

How can funding help carers?

There are many funding options for carers available. If you are looking for funding to help you long-term or for an emergency, you can apply if you are eligible. In most cases, you should be able to receive some form of funding. Just be careful that the funding that you are applying for doesn’t clash with another type of funding you are already getting, such as benefits or credits.

Funding is a great way through which you can support yourself and the person you are caring for if your income is not sufficient to cover daily living expenses. The funding that you get can be used to cover health needs such as medicines, doctor’s appointments or hospital visits. Funding for carers can also help you with purchasing food and other necessities, cover the cost of fuel or home alterations and repairs.

Funding is available for anyone in need. As long as you meet the criteria for applying for different types of funding and you are in need of it, the extra added support will definitely help you and the person you’re caring for. If you’re unsure about how to apply for funding or you have more questions you can speak to an adviser who will be able to guide you through your options.

Book a consultation

Give us a call. We are ready to help. We believe we can find your perfect carer.