A carer is anyone who looks after someone who is unable to cope on their own without being paid to do so. Anyone can be a carer, including those who are under 18 years of age (these are known as young carers).
A carer carries out tasks for someone who is unable to manage on their own. This can include things such as bathing, shopping and dressing. There are several forms of assistance available for carers, including financial support, help with employment, help in providing care, and carer's support groups. The various types of support that you may be entitled to are outlined below:-
Carer's Allowance - This is the main form of financial benefit available to carers. To be eligible for Carer's Allowance, you must be over 16 years of age and:
- Care for someone who is receiving a qualifying disability benefit, for at least 35 hours a week
- Be resident in the UK
- Should earn £100 or less per week after deductions
- Not be receiving any of a list of other benefits including Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Job Seeker's Allowance and State Retirement Pension
- Not in full time education
Employment rights for Carers - It can be difficult to combine caring for someone with having a job and some even have to give up working in order to care for someone full time. However, as part of the Work and Families Act 2006, and the Employment Rights Act 1996, carers who are employees have the right to flexible working hours and time off at short notice.
Young Carers - Your local council has a responsibility to ensure that your duties as a carer do not interfere with your education, development, and overall quality of life. They must also ensure that you do not become trapped in your role as a carer. This means that as a young carer you should not have to:-
- Care for someone at a similar level of responsibility as an adult, and
- Take on a regular and substantial amount of caring for a disabled person.
The Early Support Programme - This provides information and support for parents of young disabled children. You can access the programme through your local council and social services. Their aim is to make parents aware of the services available to them.
The following advice may be useful in enabling you to get the help and support that you need as a carer.
- Tell others that you are a carer - healthcare professionals, employer, family and friends, local social services
- Have a carer's assessment - this will be undertaken by your local social services. You should be offered this when you first contact your local services to inform them that you are a carer
- Claim your financial benefits - you may be entitled to receive financial support in the form of the Carer's Allowance
- Contact your nearest carers group or centre - they can offer support, information and a way to meet and socialise with other people in the area who are also carers
Click here for further information on Carers.
For further information on Carers and the help on offer, click on the websites below:-
- Carers Wales - help individuals that care for their family or friends
- Gov UK - provides information on a number of topics relating to carers and the help available
- Young Carers - a website where young carers can chat to other young carers, share their stories and get support
- Welsh Government, Carers - provides information on carers and the support available
- Young Carers Tool Kit - aimed at professionals across Health, Education and Social Services
- Carers - Rhondda Cynon Taf