Do you care too much?
There will come a time when we will all need someone to depend on.
In the UK today one in ten of us is a caregiver. That’s approximately seven million people giving up their time to help a loved one in need to live their lives. (Source: Careers Trust)
With an aging population set to hit 3.2 million people over the age of 85 by 2041. The need for volunteer carers is only going to increase. (Office of National Statistics). This means that 3 out of 5 of us will be carers at some point in their lives. (Research by Carers Trust)
To care for someone can be one of the most personally rewarding things we can do. But it also comes with it’s own particular pressures on those giving care.
Ironically carers tend not to be very good at caring for themselves and fail to acknowledge their own health and wellbeing.
In a recent survey of of 3,400 carers conducted by Carers UK. It was discovered that 83% felt caring had a negative impact on their physical health. In addition 87% felt the same about their mental health.
With Government cuts to social care services continuing we need to care for those compassionate people who are making a difference in our communities.
Being aware of the financial support that is available can help carers fund professional help for their loved one, alleviating some of the pressure and provide them with some much needed time for their own lives.
Here are three funds that you should be aware of that could provide much needed support and relieve the burden of the carer.
- CARER’S ALLOWANCE
The Carer’s Allowance provides benefits for those who care for at least 35 hours a week.
£66.15 a week is potentially available even if you are not related to, or live with the person you care for.
The funding is based on the hours of support. Meaning you will not get paid extra if you care for more than one person at a time.
It is important to note that the Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get. You may also have to pay tax on it if your income is over the Personal Allowance.
In addition for each week you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll automatically get National Insurance credits.
The Carer’s Allowance will be paid in your account and can be paid weekly in advance or every four weeks.
For more informaiton on the Carers Allowance click here https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
- THE ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE
Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if the person you care for has a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you.
This benefit is actually available even if they do not have someone currently caring for them but is paid at two different rates depending on the level of support that they need based on their disability. This ranges from £58.70 or £87.65 a week to help with personal support if you’re both:
Physically or mentally disabled
State Pension age or older
The other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.
For more information on the Attendance Allowance click here https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/eligibility
- PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT
The Personal Independence Payment is available for individuals seeking support who are aged 16 or over and have not reached State Pension age.
You must also have a health condition or disability where you:
- Have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months.
- Expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months (unless you’re terminally ill with less than 6 months to live).
- You must have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years, and be in one of these countries when you apply. If you’ve recently returned from living in another EEA country, you might be able to get PIP sooner.
You can get PIP whether you’re working or not.
You cannot get PIP and Armed Forces Independence Payment at the same time.
But what would happen to us if that person we depended on couldn’t cope any more?
For more information on the Personal Independence Payment click here https://www.gov.uk/pip
Caring for someone isn’t easy and it would be naïve to think that it can ever be made stress free.
Utilising the funding available can provide that moment of respite to make caring for your loved one feel achievable.