Money and Benefits
Thanks to Wiltshire Citizens Advice for helping write this piece.
You can get help and support if you’re responsible for looking after someone who has a disability, is getting older or has become ill.
Help with money
You may be able to get help to increase your income if your caring duties are affecting your finances. Depending on your income, assets and living arrangements, you might be able to:
- apply for Carer’s Allowance and other benefits
- get help with paying for prescriptions and other healthcare costs from the NHS low income scheme
- cut down your household costs, including gas and electricity bills, a free or discounted TV licence from TV Licensing or council tax discounts
- have your contributions towards your state pension covered by the government if you’ve given up or cut down paid work to care for someone – Carers UK has advice to help you protect your pension
- get a grant or other financial help from a local charity or trust – Turn2Us has details of charities that might be able to help you.
Help for the person you’re caring for
Making sure the person you’re caring for gets all the social care and support they’re entitled to could mean your role as a carer is made easier. They’re entitled to get a care needs assessment from the council. Depending on the person’s situation they may also be able to:
- claim benefits
- make arrangements for you to look after their affairs, for example through power of attorney
- complain about the social care and support services they’ve received
Other help for carers
Wiltshire Citizens Advice (WCA) Carers Project
You can get free and impartial help to sort out your finances if you’re worried about having enough money to live on and meet your existing commitments. This could include better budgeting, learning how to make your money go further and dealing with debt problems.
The Wiltshire Citizens Advice Carers Project, funded by Wiltshire Council and the CCG, works closely with us at Carer Support Wiltshire to provide debt and benefit advice to people who are caring for someone in a non-professional capacity, often a family member but sometimes a friend or neighbor.
For those that come onto the project for debt or benefit issues, the project advisers will explore the options available and may signpost if appropriate. Carers residing in, or accessing GP surgeries in Wiltshire (excl. Swindon) are eligible for this support (capacity allowing). To find out more please contact your local citizen’s advice.
Grants for carers
If you, or the person you care for need extra help to pay for something, there are many grants, funds, and charities, like the Carers Trust that may be able to help. Our experienced team can help you to find out if you are eligible.
Coronavirus – get extra help if you’re a carer
Warm and Safe Wiltshire can offer help to those struggling with access to emergency emergency prepayment meter top-ups* and mobile phone top-ups*, and, where there’s no heating in the home or homes are heated inadequately, oil-filled radiators* thanks to funding from Wiltshire Community Foundation.
They offer in-depth casework around managing energy bills and keeping warm, as well as helping you access additional support during this time to suit your needs, such as prescription services.
*Subject to availability
If you need further help or advice, there are a number of organisations you can contact.
- Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services- online, by phone and face to face. Their website includes an easy to use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search Tool.
- Carers UK click here for further information about financial support available
- The Carers Trust – find out about grants available for you or the person you care for.
- AgeUK Financial Support for Carers
You can also call us at Carer Support Wiltshire for any advice, information and support around finances and more. Call us free on 0800 181 4118 (Mon – Thurs 9:30-4:30, Friday 9:30-4:00).