As a carer, you are likely to be affected financially in various ways by the costs of caring, and the impact of your caring responsibilities on your ability to work. There are a number of different benefits that are affected by being a carer and it is worth trying to find out what help you might be entitled to.
This is the main benefit for carers. You may be eligible if you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more.
Usually, you will not be able to receive Carer's Allowance once you receive
your state pension. However, you will still have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to it, and this can help you qualify for other means-tested benefits and related payments, such as the carer premium.
Claiming Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get, so it’s important to get detailed advice from an expert benefits advisor, such as a Citizens Advice adviser, to find out if you will be better off claiming it.
The carer premium is a payment included in the calculation of any means-tested benefits you get, and can mean you get more money if you're also paid Carer's Allowance or have an underlying entitlement to it.
If you are caring for someone for more than 20 hours a week, Carer’s Credit should ensure that your National Insurance contributions are still paid, just as if you were working during that time. This means your caring role will not affect your future right to a state pension.
To get Carer’s Credit, you need to complete a form.
If you provide care to someone with Huntington’s, you can be assessed by your local authority to find out if you are entitled to some financial and/or practical support. Local authorities now have a legal duty to assess any carer who asks for an assessment.
Carers UK has information about sources of financial help and benefits, including how to challenge a benefit decision if you feel it is wrong. Information is also available online from the Carers Trust.
The Government services and information website has an online benefits checker.
You can also get advice on how to apply for support and make your case as a carer of someone with Huntington’s from your local specialist Huntington’s disease adviser (SDHA) or HDA’s special adviser on JHD.
If you don’t find the information you need, contact us, we’re here to help.