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Financial support for carers

There are many costs associated with looking after someone. Here's some guidance on available financial support.

Carers allowance

Carers may want to explore whether they are entitled to carer's allowance.

Check your eligibility for carer's allowance.

Carers' credit

You could get carer's credit if you're caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.

Carer's credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record.

Check your eligibility for carer's credit.

Carers' personal budget and direct payments 

After a carer's assessment, if they are eligible, carers will get their own support plan which sets out the support they will get in order to continue caring for the adult. It could be for: 

  • education and training
  • a short break
  • improving their own health and wellbeing
  • practical help in the home 

The carers' personal budget is to help carers pay for things to help them in their caring role.  It can only be used to pay for things which have been agreed in their support plan. It is paid by the council's Adult Social Care department. It is not taxed and does not affect any benefits.

The carer's personal budget can be taken as a direct payment and they can choose a one-off payment or monthly payments. Either paid to a pre-paid card or a dedicated bank account.

To get a personal budget you will have to have had a carers assessment.

To arrange a carer's assessment contact Essex County Council Adult Social Care on 0345 603 7630

Council tax reduction for carers

You may be eligible for council tax reduction, also called 'council tax support' or being 'disregarded for council tax', if you are:

  • a live-in carer
  • are not the spouse or partner of the person you care for

You do not have to claim carer's allowance to qualify for this discount, and your income and savings will not affect your eligibility.

Check council tax reduction eligibility criteria.

Apply for a council tax discount.

Other financial guidance for carers

The government website GOV.UK has useful information on benefits, how to claim, and what you may be entitled to.

Find your local Citizens Advice. Citizen's Advice provide general advice on welfare benefits, housing, debts, immigration, and employment. They also have an online advice guide.

Carers UK provides further advice on financial issues for carers as well as information about Universal Credit for carers.

Entitledto is a free, independent, benefits calculator that shows what you can claim.

For free and confidential debt and money advice:

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