If you care for elderly parents or a relative, it is easy to ignore your own needs. You may not consider yourself a carer – a daughter, son, husband or wife. As you will know, caring for a loved one can be emotionally and practically challenging – and it’s important to know you’re not alone and support is available.
You can discover your rights as a carer using this useful blog from Carers Support but there are also numerous organisations in Sussex who offer advice and practical support to improve your quality of life as a carer.
Care for the Carers
This charity offers support to unpaid carers in East Sussex, where they claim one in ten people are caring for a loved one. They run events and social activities to allow careers to socialise with each other and improve their wellbeing.
Care for the Careers also provide training programmes to help carers build their skills and develop their knowledge about caring matters. You can find out more about them and their latest events here.
Carers Support West Sussex
According to Carers Support West Sussex, a West Sussex based carer’s charity, 89,000 carers currently live in the region and they already work with 19,000 of them.
Carers Support West Sussex run support groups and counselling services as well as helping help their service users get access to any equipment they might need for their caring responsibilities. You can find out more about Carers Support West Sussex’s services here.
Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove
This charity works with 5,800 carers in Brighton & Hove and could help you too. Carers Centre for Brighton & Hove offers information, support and advocacy services for local carers, as well as social groups and meditations sessions to promote wellbeing.
You can find out about other groups and exciting shared activates on their website.
Caring for an elderly parent or relative can have a financial cost as well as an emotional one, but there is assistance available to help you.
Because people don’t consider themselves carers they don’t claim the benefits they are entitled to. In fact, it has been estimated by Age UK that millions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed each year.
This is an introduction to financial support available to carers.
Carer’s Allowance is currently £62.70 a week and you can claim it if you:
- Spend over 35 hours caring for someone each week
- Are over the age of 16
- Earn less than £116 a week
- Are not in full-time education or study for over 21 hours a week
To qualify, the relative you are carering for must also be receiving a benefit for their condition (e.g. Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment). However, be aware that when you claim your allowance your relative’s benefits may be reduced as a result.
Also, you typically cannot get Carers Allowance if you are already claiming your pension, or some state benefits like Employment and Support Allowance. Carers Allowance is not affected by the government’s benefit cap.
Find out more about Carer’s Allowance and make your claim on the GOV.UK website.
If you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week but are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance you may be able to claim Carer’s Credits. This is a National Insurance credit towards your state pension, helping ease gaps in your contributions because of caring responsibilities.
If the relative you are caring for does not receive benefits for their condition you may still be able to claim Carer’s Credit. You can also still claim the credit even if you take a break from your caring duties of up to 12 weeks, for example if you wanted to take a holiday or were hospitalised themselves.
Find out more about Carer’s Allowance and make a claim on the GOV.UK website.
You can apply for pension credit if you are a carer who is currently claiming their state pension. How much you receive will be dependent on your income and savings as well as your marital status.
Find out more about Pension Credit and how to claim it on the GOV.UK website.
You can also visit The Money Advice Service’s website to find out further information about financial help for carers.