There are various sources of funding for you which may be worth investigating. Everyone’s situation is different and we cannot guarantee the outcome of any of the suggested routes set out below, however, if you know what to ask for then it is worth a try. This sort of funding is not “income” when calculating benefits or tax.
Local Authority carers’ assessments
Local Authorities have a duty to provide an assessment of a carer’s needs and to ensure that eligible needs are met. You may find an assessment useful as it is a chance to think about your own needs and to be put in touch with appropriate local services and resources.
Carers’ Assessments do not assess “how good a carer you are”. What they should do is look at how caring affects your physical and mental health, and if there is a significant impact on your well-being in areas such as being able to work, maintain personal relationships, care for other family members and take part in leisure activities, volunteering and training.
You do not need to live with the person you care for in order to have an assessment, and the person you care for does not need to have their own assessment in order for you to get a carer’s assessment.
There are slight differences in process between the 4 countries as follows:
|What to ask for||Who to ask|
|England||Carer’s Assessment||Local Council Adult Social Care Dept|
|Wales||Carer’s Needs Assessment||Local Council Social Services Dept|
|Scotland||Adult Carer Support Plan||Local Council Social Work Dept|
|Northern Ireland||Carer’s Assessment||Local Health and Social Care Trust Social Services Team|
If you are assessed as having eligible needs, the Local Authority will draw up a support plan with you to set out how those needs will be met. Sometimes the needs will be met by funding a service for the carer if it would support the carer’s mental health and reduce stress by enabling the carer to care more confidently. The Local Authority will look for the most cost-effective way to meet a need, but it should consider the individual needs and circumstances of each carer. This funding is often in the form of a Carer’s Direct Payment, which is sometimes referred to as a Personal Budget or as “self-directed support”. There is no charge or means-test for this in Scotland; in the rest of Great Britain, Local Authorities have the power to charge for it but most choose not to charge. There’s more information on personal budgets here.
There are many trusts and charities which can give one-off grants to pay for a course or a service. This usually involves an element of financial assessment. Some trades and professions have their own benevolent funds for current or former workers or their dependants (see a list here) and there are many local and regional trusts set up to benefit people in particular geographical areas.
You can do an individual search for appropriate grant givers at Turn2Us.
You might get suggestions of local and national grant givers from a social or health care professional, Carers Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau or other local advice agency. Ogilvie Charities and the Talisman Charitable Trust will accept applications from a health or social care professional on behalf of carers.
The Respite Association can sometimes pay for replacement care for the person you support if you need to go away.
Carers Trust grants
The Carers Trust gives grants of up to £300 for things which will support carers in their caring role, including training and education. You cannot apply directly for this yourself, but your local Carers Trust Network Partner (Carers Centre or Crossroads Care Scheme) can make an application for you. You can find out if there is a Network Partner in your area here.