Employment and financial information for carers
Your caring role may be having an impact on your finances. For example, you may have reduced your working hours to help care for someone, or had to give up work entirely. Or maybe you have been caring for someone for several years and don’t know where to start to get back to work.
If you are caring for someone, you may be entitled to national benefits, including Carer's Allowance. For further information on a range of benefits, visit the government's GOV.UK website or use Herefordshire Council's BetterOff online service to see if you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to.
You may also be entitled to a reduction in your council tax, visit the council's website for further information.
You can also visit the Money and Legal section of this website for information about managing money, including debt and paying bills.
You may wish to work but feel unable to because of your caring role. The person you care for may be eligible for further assistance which would allow you time to return to work or increase your hours. In order to assess eligibility, the person you care for would need a care assessment. Further information is available in the care and support section of the council's website, including how to request a care assessment.
You can also request a carer's assessment, even if the person you care for has not had a care assessment. A social care worker will discuss the impact of your caring role upon you. The social care worker will advise you on the resources available to assist you to fulfill your aspirations while balancing your caring role and will assess if you are eligible for any financial assistance.
The social care worker will compare both assessments to ensure that, while assessing the person you care for, they take into account your aspirations and create support plans which allow you time to meet your own needs, such as managing your own mental and physical wellbeing, having time to work, train or start education.
In April 2015, the Care Act introduced new national rules for deciding who is eligible for support. Carers UK provides further information about carer's assessments and eligibility visit their website for details.
If you are entitled to support as a carer, you may choose to be referred to the carers wellbeing service and/or accept a direct payment to pay for goods and/or services to meet the agreed outcomes in your support plan. For further information about direct payments for carers please go to Herefordshire Council's website.
To request a care and/or carer's assessment, contact the council’s Advice and Referral Team on 01432 260101 or ASCAdviceandReferralTeam@herefordshire.gov.uk.
Returning to work can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have been unable to work for some time because of your caring role. Visit the jobcentreguide website for further information on where and how to look for work, including useful tips for building a CV and job interviews. The BetterOff online service also has some useful information and advice on finding a job, interviews and CVs.
If you are working but struggling to balance your caring role, speak to your employer about the possibility of working flexibly or changing your hours. The Carers UK looking after someone guide gives useful information about being a carer, including your rights at work.