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A carer is somebody providing unpaid support to family or friends who would not be able to cope without this support. Care could be that you physically help someone in meeting their daily care needs, prompting or reminding someone or being there to provide reassurance and check that someone is safe and comfortable. The person you care for may be ill, frail, have a physical disability, have mental health needs or a substance misuse problem. Many people do not see themselves as a carer, they see themselves simply as a mother, father, husband, wife, friend, neighbour, etc. Anyone can become a carer, however it is important to recognise the care you give in order to see how this is impacting on your own health, your family and social life and work. Recognising what you do helps you to identify what support you would benefit from. Most people don’t choose to become a carer, many don’t realise they are for a long time after they start providing care.
Advice, support and services are available from a wide range of agencies nationally and locally. For more information on what is available you can contact your local Carers Centre:
- Hambleton and Richmondshire Carers Centre
- Harrogate, Ripon and Craven Carers Resource
- Scarborough and Ryedale Carers Resource
- Selby Carers Centre
Or contact North Yorkshire County Council:
Or Or try looking at our 'Useful Links' page:
A carers assessment is an opportunity to have your needs identified and possible services to support you explored. It can be difficult to identify and express the demands made upon you, the impact these have on you and what you want out of life (today and in the future). Sitting down with someone and talking through what you feel can help can help in the discovery about what support is available and how you can create more opportunities for yourself. We can sit down with you and help you Complete a ‘Carers Assessment’ (this is a North Yorkshire County Council Carers Assessment and is part of our contracted service provision with them). If you provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over, you are entitled to a carer's assessment.For more information on Carers Assessments click 'here' to visit North Yorkshire County Council, Health & Social Care, Carers Assessment.
If you are a carer you need to check that you, and the person you are caring for, are claiming all benefits you are entitled to.
We provide information on what benefits are available, help to complete forms, provide contact details on specialist support services available to help with benefits issues and, if appropriate, make a referral to them on your behalf. For example, we have a partnership arrangement with the 'Pensions, Disabilty & Carers Service' and are refer appropriate carers directly to them.
“Over 300,000 people in the UK who care, unpaid, for ill, frail or disabled relatives may be missing out on the financial support they are entitled to. This amounts to £843 million in unclaimed Carer's Allowance every year, which could be providing basic financial support for carers.” (from: ‘Carers Missing Millions A report into carers' unclaimed benefits’, December 2010, Carers UK.)
Specialist advice on benefits can be sought from CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau):
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for working age people. It is for people with long-term ill-health or disability if you’re aged 16 to 64. It has two components, 'Care' and 'Mobility' and each component has two rates, the rates depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. For more information you can contact us or visit 'Gov.UK'.
Carers Allowance is for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for somebody getting Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 'Daily living component', Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the 'Middle or Higher rate for the 'Personal Care Component', Attendance Allowance (AA)or Constant Attendance Allowance (paid as an addition to a War Disablement Pension or industrial disablement benefit). Carers must not be in full time education or earning above a certain amountand it is taxable. Eligibility can be complex to understand, as can be the potential implications for the person being cared for. As such, we would recommend getting advice from either ourselves or from CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau):
Attendance Allowance is a disability benefit for people aged 65 or over and not permanently in hospital or living in accommodation provided by or funded by a local authority. There are 'residency in the UK' conditions. There are two rates, the lower rate for those needing help during the day and the higher rate for those needing help during the day and night.
Contact us for more information or visit the 'Carers Trust' benefits page by clicking 'here'.
Adults (16 to 64)
PIP is gradually replacing DLA for people aged 16 to 64, even for those with an indefinite or lifetime DLA award. This is a complex issue and we advise you to contact us or CAB for further information. (What is PIP?)
For adults aged 65 or older, already getting DLA, they will keep DLA, there are no plans to move this age group to PIP.
Children (from 3 months old)
DLA for children remains uneffected by the introduction of PIP. For a child to be eligible for DLA either:
- They need more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability, or:
- They have more difficulty getting about than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability, and:
- They must have had these difficulties for at least 3 months and expect them to last for at least 6 months. If they’re terminally ill (ie not expected to live more than 6 months), they don’t need to have had these difficulties for 3 months.
There are two components:
Care: (Three rates)
- Low - help for some of the day or night. Middle - frequent help or constant supervision during the day, supervision at night or someone to help while they’re on dialysis.
- High - help or supervision throughout both day and night, or they’re terminally ill.
Mobility: (Two rates)
- Low - they can walk but need help and or supervision when outdoors (only awarded from the age of 5 years old).
- High - they can’t walk, can only walk a short distance without severe discomfort, could become very ill if they try to walk or they’re blind, severely sight impaired (only awarded from the age of 3 years old).
Contact us for more information / advice or speak to your local CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau):
"Direct payments are payments from the local council for people who have been assessed as needing help from social services, and who would like to arrange and pay for their own care and support services. These payments are made directly to the disabled person (or to someone acting on their behalf), to arrange their own care package.
Who can get a direct payment? Anyone who is assessed as needing care services has the right to request a direct payment instead of having those services provided by their council. There are limited circumstances when direct payments are not awarded, however the majority of those already receiving, or those assessed as needing, social services have a right to direct payments. These include:
- older people who have been assessed as needing community care services
- disabled people aged 16 and over, including those with short as well as long term needs
- carers, in place of receiving carers’ services
- families with disabled children; disabled parents."
More information is available from North Yorkshire County Council website - click 'here' to go to their Direct Payments page.