Looking after someone? Know your rights.
Thursday 26 November 2020 is Carers Rights Day – which is about reaching out to all carers with information, advice and support – as well as raising awareness of their needs. The focus for 2020 is ‘Know Your Rights’.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of caring, affecting carers’ access to support and services, and their physical and mental health. Many are caring for the first time, whilst those who’ve been caring for a while are facing greater challenges and pressures than ever before. It’s never been more important for carers to be informed and know their rights.
To find out more about what carers are entitled to, check out the latest Carers UK ‘looking after someone guide’, which gives the full picture of the practical and financial support available to carers.
There are three important steps carers can take to find out about what they may be entitled to:
1. Get a benefits check
Carer’s Allowance is known as the main benefit for carers. But not everyone is eligible to claim it, so it’s a good idea to arrange a benefits check to see what financial support you may be entitled to. You can also use the Turn2us benefits calculator on the Carers UK website.
2. Find out about practical support
A Carer may need practical support – for example short breaks, equipment to help make caring easier, or information about local groups that can help. All carers are entitled to a carer’s assessment from their local council. The assessment will look at how caring affects a carer’s life, including their physical, mental and emotional needs, and if they are able or willing to carry on caring.
3. Connect with other carers
Caring can be isolating. When we’re looking after someone, it’s not always easy to find people who really know what caring is like and are able to give us help and understanding. There are carer support groups across the UK – use the Carers UK’s website directory of local services to find out more.
Many carers also find online forums a huge source of support – a place where carers can share what’s on their mind, anytime of the day or night, with other carers who understand what they are going through.