The Clapped Out Carer
- Carers Allowances and Assessments
- Carers Allowance
- Carers Assessments
- Carers Equal Opportunities
- Community Care Assessments
- Financial Assessment
- Family Assessments
- OT Assessments
- Health Assessments
- Discharge from Hospital
The main state benefit that some carers can claim is Carer’s Allowance.
This allowance is for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone with a disability who receives a Disability Living Allowance (Middle or Higher Rate for Personal Care), Attendance Allowance 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 amount. Dependents additions may be payable. It is taxable.
Who qualifies for a Carer’s Allowance?
- You must be 16 years old or over
- You must look after someone for at least 35 hours a week
- The person you look after must receive a qualifying disability benefit
- If you work you must not earn more than £102 a week net pay, although this figure is revised every April, so be sure to check (see relevant links below)
- You must be living in the UK when you claim Carer’s Allowance
- You must not be a full-time student. This is defined as supervised studying for 21 or more hours per week
How much is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is is paid at a standard rate, currently set at £61.35 a week (as of May 2014).
If you made your claim before 6 April 2010, you may also be able to get extra benefit for your partner or someone who looks after your children. This includes partners who are living together as well as those who are married or in a civil partnership. It includes lesbian, gay or heterosexual partners.
You can only get the extra benefit if the person you are claiming for has earnings below a certain amount and does not get certain benefits in their own right which are worth more than the extra Carer’s Allowance.
If you made your claim after 6 April 2010, you can no longer get the extra benefit.
Other Important Information
Make Sure: to check with the person you are caring for before you make a claim for Carer’s Allowance since they may lose some of the benefit they receive, such as a severe disability addition, as a result of the Carer’s Allowance claim. This is only if the disabled person lives on their own and does not include underlying entitlement awards of Carer’s Allowance.
Underlying Entitlement: You cannot receive Carer’s Allowance and a State Retirement Pension. If however you are a carer who would qualify for Carers Allowance, you may be entitled to what is known as Underlying Entitlement, which may entitle you to benefits that your retirement pension does.
What is a Carer’s Assessment?
In a Carer’s Assessment is your for you to tell social services about the things that could make caring easier for you. Your local Carers Association may undertake these assessments and share the information with your local authority.
NO INFORMATION WE HOLD ON YOU IS SHARED WITH THRID PARTIES UNLESS IT IS FOR A SERIOUS SAFEGAURDING ISSUE. WITH YOUR CONSENT WE SHARE YOUR INFORMATION WITH THE THERAPISTS YOU HAVE ASKED TO WORK WITH
Carers and Disabled Children’s Act 2000
This act of Parliament was promised in the Carers Strategy (1999) and made some important changes to assessment and services for carers. This Act gives carers the right to ask for an assessment of their own needs to help them to continue to care, irrespective of whether the person they are caring for has had or is having their own needs assessment.
Carers Equal Opportunities Act 2004
This Act is the newest and was implemented in April 2005. It changes the previous act in a few important ways.
Firstly it places a duty on social services departments to inform carers of their right to an assessment. Secondly, when the assessment is carried out the purpose of it is not only to help the carer to continue to care, but should also include a discussion on their/your wish to start paid work or to continue to work, their/your wish for further education and their/your wish to engage in leisure pursuits. Thirdly carers and their needs have previously only been a duty for social service departments, but under this Act social service departments can ask other public bodies including local health organisations to provide services to carers; a request, which these bodies have to consider and make a reply.
You should feel free to talk about any of these during your assessment, but to get you started, here are some of the more common areas for discussion:
- if you are struggling to find any/enough time for yourself,
- whether you’re able to get out and about,
- the affect caring is having on your health,
- how it’s affecting your relationships with others,
- whether the person you’re caring for is getting enough help,
- sources for additional help via local or national support organisations,
- and any employment concerns you may have
- different types of assessments
Here’s a main overview of the different assessments and what they cover. For any other information you require, either use the contact details at the bottom of this page or you can contact your local social services directly.
Community Care Assessment
(NHS and Community Care 1990)
This describes the process when a social worker or other health or social care professional looks at the needs of somebody with an illness or disability and assesses what community care services are required to meet those needs (for instance a Day Centre place or care in the home). Many now use a “single assessment process” which is an assessment for the disabled person and their carers carried out by all the health and social care professionals involved in the situation.
Local authorities can make a charge for services provided after your community care assessment (which vary according to where you live), but this is subject to a means tested financial assessment. Most policies have a minimum (sometimes nothing) and maximum weekly charge.
The person receiving the services will be asked to complete financial assessment forms (or these may be completed by the social worker doing the assessment). Completing the forms is important, as if they are not the maximum charge will be payable. Depending on the level of income and the amount of services required, this might still be cheaper than paying for care privately.
It is important to note that whoever receives the service is who’s income it gets assessed against.
Family Assessment (Children Act 1989)
In the case of a disabled child with special needs, the assessment should look at the family as a whole unit when considering appropriate services for the child and support for the parents (carers).
Occupational Therapy Assessment
This looks at the needs of the person cared for, in their environment. It can result in the provision of aids and/or adaptations to the home in order to make life easier.
Health professionals (district nurses, physiotherapists etc.) will usually undertake their own assessment before starting treatment. We are more used to describing a Doctor’s assessment of your health as an “appointment” or “consultation”. Health Professionals will also be involved in the “single assessment” process.
Discharge from Hospital
Under the delayed Discharges Act 2003, if a patient is due for hospital discharge and the carer is concerned about how they will provide care in their home, they are now entitled to a home assessment, which includes the caring role. This assessment should determine the need for aids and adaptations and home care, the latter being provided free of charge for a 6 week trial period.
Prior to hospital discharge, carers can ask for a care plan to be agreed and put into place.