Becoming a carer can have a significant impact on your finances, especially if the person you care for has had to give up paid employment or you have had to reduce your hours.
Fortunately there are many professional organisations who can offer expert help and advice.
Many carers find themselves in debt as a result of the extra costs associated with their responsibility. Please visit our Money Matters section for information about how you can access support from specialist organisations.
Carers often face higher fuel charges as a result of having the heating on throughout the day as well as increased laundry costs. Knowing what benefits are available can be confusing, but the charity Turn2Us is here to help you.
There are also local organisations that can help you and offer advice. For example, your local Citizens Advice Bureau can advise on whether you may be eligible for financial support. This could include housing and council tax benefit, tax credits, income support or carer's allowance.
Managing someone’s affairs
As a carer, you may be looking after someone who is unable to make some decisions for themselves. This could be because of dementia, learning disabilities, brain injury or reasons connected with mental illness.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects and supports people who are unable to make decisions for themselves. The key points are:
- People should be supported to make their own decisions wherever possible
- If the person cannot make a decision, that decision must be made in the person's best interests
- As a carer you have the right to be consulted about any best interest decision made by professionals, such as social workers and health staff
NHS Choices provides a comprehensive overview of mental capacity and managing the financial, health and social care affairs of the person you care for.
You can apply for the right to deal with the benefits of someone who can’t manage their own affairs because they’re mentally incapable or severely disabled. Find out more about how to do this.