Benefits for carers
This information is for adults who care for another adult. Support and information is also available for carers who are under 18 on the NHS website, and adults who care for children on the carers website.
You may be entitled to benefits if you:
- have care or mobility needs because of your lung condition
- cannot work due to your lung condition
- are thinking of giving up work because of your lung condition
- care for someone with a lung condition
Having a lung condition doesn’t entitle you to welfare benefits. Benefits depend on how your lung condition affects your care or mobility needs, or your ability to work.
If you’re unsure what you’re entitled to and want to talk to someone, please call our helpline on 03000 030 555.
What financial help is available for carers?
Arrangements for assessing, providing and making support payments vary across the UK. Read information about each nation below:
When you have the assessment, make sure it is clear how much you do for the person you care for.
If you look after someone with caring needs you may be entitled to
- Carer’s Allowance – and – in Scotland only – Carer’s Allowance Supplement
- Carer’s Credit
- Other benefits - link including respite care
This is the main benefit available for carers across the UK. You may be eligible if you care for someone with substantial caring needs for 35 hours a week or more. You do not have to live with or be related to the person you care for. Your eligibility is based on your circumstances, such as:
- your age
- whether you work and what you earn
- whether you get other benefits
If you get the state pension, get specialist advice before you apply for Carer’s Allowance, as the two benefits can’t be paid at the same time. Our helpline can advise you about this. Call 03000 030 555.
It also takes into account the benefits the person you are caring for receives. The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance (AA)
Carer’s Allowance is non-contributory and non-means-tested. But any means-tested benefits you do get will be reduced by the same amount you get from Carer’s Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance Supplement is an extra payment for people living in Scotland who are getting Carer’s Allowance on a set date. It’s paid 2 times a year.
You’ll get a letter from Social Security Scotland if you’re due to get this payment.
You could also get Carer’s Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week. You automatically get Carer’s Credit if you get Carer’s Allowance, or child benefits for a child under the age of 12.
Carer’s Credit is a national insurance credit. So if you have to stop work due to your caring responsibilities, contributions will still be paid. This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the state pension.
Filling out the forms can be daunting.
If you need help to complete them:
- Citizens Advice has detailed information on their website and you can chat online with an adviser or visit your local Citizens Advice. Sometimes Citizens Advice is based in GP surgeries or community centres
- Get in touch with your local carers services on the carers website or services in your area on the Age UK website
- Search for other local help using your postcode on the Turn2Us website
Our specialist adviser can talk you through how to prepare for this. Call 03000 030 555
The person you care for
The person you care for may also be entitled to benefits:
- Personal independence payment (PIP)
- Disability living allowance (DLA) is paid for eligible children aged under 16. It’s also paid to people who already got DLA before PIP was introduced.
- Attendance allowance
- and, if they are unable to work, statutory sick pay, employment and support allowance or universal credit
- Industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB) if their condition was caused by their work
We also have information from carers about non-financial aspects of caring.
Other types of benefits and financial assistance that you and the person you care for might be eligible for are top-up benefits if you have a low income, such as council tax reductions and help with fuel costs.
Taking a break (respite care)
Your carer’s assessment may identify that you need a break from caring from time to time. This is called respite care and may be provided by your council after your carer’s assessment or after the person you care for has had an assessment. Your council or local carers’ centre can give you information about what’s available in your area.
There are different ways you can take a break. Think about what type of break will suit you. You may want an hour every week, a day here and there, a week or two for a holiday, or a combination of all of these.
And think about what kind of service the person you look after will need while you’re away. Perhaps friends and family could take over caring for them, or you could arrange
- for them to go to a day centre
- for a professional carer to come to the home of the person you care for
- short-term residential care
- a holiday for them
There are many ways to arrange and pay for you to take a break. You may be able to get help from your local council, charities or benevolent funds, or you may need to pay for care yourself.
Taking a Break is useful factsheet on the Carers UK website. It includes organisations that may be able to help arrange and fund a break.