Carer personal budgets
A carer personal budget (also known as a carer direct payment) is a sum of money paid by the council to help to a carer to pay for things which will help them in their caring role. It allows a carer to have more control over how they are supported.
If you are eligible for support from your council following a carer's assessment you will be given a personal budget - the amount you receive will depend on your situation, and will be paid as a lump sum. This payment will cover a 12-month period after which your situation will be reviewed with you.
You and the person who completes the assessment with you will create a support plan which will show how your support will be arranged, and how you will spend your personal budget.
What can I do with my personal budget?
Your personal budget can be used in all kinds of ways; it's yours to use to pay for anything that will support you in your caring role and that has been agreed in your carers' support plan.
Here's how you might want to use your personal budget:
- travel expenses or fees to take up leisure or education activities
health promotion activities such as exercise classes, gym membership, massages or relaxation or complementary therapies
- practical things such as a washing machine or a computer
a short holiday
- driving lessons
- help with housework and gardening
- a mobile phone
- leisure classes to relieve stress.
The budget cannot be spent on any illegal activities, or on alcohol, gambling or smoking. You will be asked by the council to demonstrate how you have spent your budget.
To get a personal budget you will have to have had a carer's assessment.
Further information about personal budgets
You can get more help and advice from:
Carers Network - they are the main organisation in Hammersmith & Fulham providing support, information, breaks and grants for unpaid carers.
The Alzheimer's Society - they can help you find out about the personal budgets available for carers who are looking after someone who is living with dementia.
If you look after someone, you may be eligible to receive a Carer's Allowance. This benefit is intended to help towards your living costs when you are looking after someone.
Carer's Allowance is worth £69.70 per week and can be paid weekly in advance or every 4 weeks.
You'll also get National Insurance credits each week towards your pension if you're under pension age.
Eligibility for Carer's Allowance
You may be eligible for Carer's Allowance if you:
- are aged 16 or over and not in full-time education
- spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
live in the UK
- have lived in the UK for at least 2 of the last 3 years
- are not in receipt of certain other benefits, such as Jobseeker's Allowance or Incapacity Benefit
- are not working, or earn less than £128 a week after tax and anything to pay towards the care of the person you look after.
You can find more information about Carer's Allowance on GOV.UK and advice on how to make a claim.
If you need help completing the forms or have any questions contact the Carer's Allowance Unit.
Further information about Carer's Allowance
Get more help and advice:
If you are a working-age carer who is unable to work because of their caring commitments you may be able to claim Carer's Allowance.
If you get Carer's Allowance, or have an underlying entitlement to it, you may then become entitled to Universal Credit or one of various means-tested benefits.
And if you are already receiving one or more means-tested benefits you may be entitled to more of these benefits.
This is because getting Carer's Allowance or having an underlying entitlement to it means that an extra amount of money called the 'carers premium or addition' is included in the calculation of the means-tested benefits you apply for.
You may find that you are entitled to one or more of the following means-tested benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Jobseeker's allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Support
Remember that means-tested benefits take into account how much income and savings you and your household have.
Visit GOV.UK to check what benefits financial support you can get or use an independent benefits calculator.
Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit are paid to top up the incomes of families or workers with a low income. The amount you get of either or both depends on your household taxable income.
Use the tax credits calculator to estimate how much you could get.
Further information about carers' benefits
Get more help and advice: