Carer’s Breaks Awards factsheet
Why are we writing to you?
You are currently receiving, or have previously received, the Carer’s Break Award issued through Derbyshire Carers Association.
The Care Act 2014 has changed eligibility for carer’s services and this will affect decisions about Carer’s Breaks Awards. The information on this sheet explains how this will affect you.
What does eligibility mean?
Eligibility determines whether you can get funded support from the council because of your personal needs. The criteria is set by the government to make these decisions, it is called the National Eligibility Framework. This has been put in place to make sure everyone is treated in a consistent way across the country.
What is the new eligibility criteria?
The Care Act 2014 has introduced new national eligibility criteria for carers and this has been in place since April 2015. There are three questions that we need to consider when deciding if you have eligible needs as a carer:
• Are your needs the result of you providing ‘necessary care’ to another adult? This refers to activities that the individual requiring support should be able to carry out as part of normal daily life but is unable to do so.
• Is caring having a negative impact on your health? Or on some other aspect of your life?
• Is caring having a significant impact on your well- being?
If the answer to all three questions is yes, you may have eligible needs.
Does everybody who is eligible for a service get a Carer’s Break Award?
In Derbyshire we value carers and have been providing support in many ways, including the Carers Breaks Awards. Although you have a right to request a Carer’s Break Award, it will not be granted automatically. It is subject to an assessment or a review. An award is only available when needs cannot be met in other ways. All carers will receive general advice and information about caring issues. Carer support could include many things such as:
• Specialist advice
• Support groups
• Carer’s Breaks Awards or Direct Payments, so the carer can spend money on support for themselves to allow them to continue in their caring role.
Are Carer’s Breaks Awards the only type of personalised payments to carers?
The different terms used for amounts of money paid to individuals can be confusing. We tend to use the term ‘personal budget’ as a general term to describe personal payments that are available to help people meet their eligible support needs.
There are two types of personal budgets that are available to carers.
A Carer’s Break Award is a one-off payment of up to £250. People who get the awards need to sign a declaration to say the payment will be used for the purpose for which it is intended.
The other type of personal budget is a Direct Payment. A Direct Payment involves agreeing an amount that is paid into a bank account on a regular basis. As part of this arrangement, receipts have to be submitted to the County Council at agreed intervals to prove how the money is being spent. Other checks may also be necessary and all of this would be discussed when setting up a Direct Payment.
In most situations where a cared for person has a high level of care needs, the solution is addressed through the cared for person’s support package, rather than awarding a Direct Payment to a carer. The carer may still have needs in their own right, but in the vast majority of cases these are met without the need for a Direct Payment.
Are other changes planned?
We have to alter the eligibility criteria for Carers Breaks Awards, because the law has changed. During this year we will consider whether we need to make any other changes to personal budgets for carers and more generally to the way we support carers. We will write to you again if we have any proposals for changes.
In addition, any parents who previously received an award under this scheme to assist with caring for a child/children will in future be signposted to the Council’s Children and Younger Adults Department.
Where can I get further information?
If you have any further questions you can contact Call Derbyshire on (01629) 533190
Any new claims for Carers Breaks awards can be made by contacting the above number or any of the organisations below.
Derbyshire Carers Association Tel: 01773 743355
Thinkcarer (Mental Health carers) Tel: 01332 380224
Alzheimer’s Society Tel: 01332 208845 or 01246 223366