There are benefits just for carers, some for people with a disability, and some to help you if you have a low income. Remember, you can still claim some benefits if you work, have savings or own your own home.
- You may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you spend at least 35 hours a week caring.
- The person you care for may be able to get help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long term health condition. See if they can claim Attendance Allowance (AA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
- Tax credits and Income Support can help top up your income.
- Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can help with housing costs if you have a low income. You may also be able to help heating your home. See housing and heating costs.
- You may be able to get help with health and care costs including help paying for dental treatment, free prescriptions, and help managing and paying for care and support.
- Carer’s Credit is not a benefit but will help make sure you will still have a state pension even if your caring responsibilities mean that you can’t work.
- Pension Credit is extra money for pensioners on a low income.
- You may be able to apply for extra money from grants or benevolent funds, or get money off your tv licence or car tax. See grants and discounts.
You may also be able to claim benefits if you are looking for work or you can’t work because you are ill or disabled. See other working age benefits.
Coping with the festive season
Research suggests that people who focus on role of presents and consumerism at Christmas may be unhappier than those who prioritise spending time with friends and family. Finding time to see family and friends can be difficult when you are a carer. However, where possible, try to arrange a time in advance to see other family or friends at Christmas, even if only for a coffee or a short break.
Top tip: If you are going to spend time with family and friends it could be a great chance for them to give you a hand and to see what sort of caring you do. Could they spend time with the person you care for whilst you take a short break? Or could they help with tasks around the home, like cooking Christmas dinner?
Now, the idea of a ‘healthy’ argument might seem like a foreign concept. Surely all arguing is bad, right? Well, no. A good constructive and respectful argument can actually be very good for, and even improve, your relationship. But it all depends how you argue.
Find out more about the art of healthy arguing on our relationship guide.
Take control of your finances
Financial Wings is a free online tool that can help you learn about a range of financial topics. This will give you the knowledge and confidence to take control of your money. It’s been created by Barclays but it’s for anyone to use: whether you are a Barclays customer or not. Visit the Financial Wings website to find out more.
You may be able to get extra money if your partner has died. See benefits when someone dies.
Tax help for older people
Tax Help for Older People offers free, independent, confidential expert advice for older people (approaching 60 and older) on low incomes (£20,000 gross per annum or less.)
This could be you or the person you care for (you can ask for help on their behalf – you don’t need power of attorney to do this).
Their volunteer tax advisers can answer simple questions over the telephone. For other problems, they’ll arrange a face-to-face meeting. If you find it hard to travel this can be a home visit.
Call their helpline on 0845 601 3321 or email: email@example.com