Handling My Finances

 

·      I am in debt

It is not at all uncommon for carers to struggle financially and to find themselves in debt. This may be because of a variety of factors, such as a carer having to reduce their hours at work as their caring role increases, or experiencing the extra financial burden that some health conditions can carry.

 

We understand how worrying getting into debt can be and how you can feel overwhelmed and stressed by it all.  You do not have to try and cope with these worries alone; there is lots of free confidential advice available to you.

 

A number of websites provide information about debt problems:

 

Citizens Advice Bureauhas a section on debt and a tool which helps work out which are priority debts and steps that you can take yourself
Money Advice Servicewebsite is all about money matters

National Debtline– Telephone and internet-based advice from a national charity

Debt Advice Foundationwebsite contains good advice and their helpline is 0800 043 40 50

Carers UKalso have a very useful section on debt

 

There are two organisations that can help with advice and practical assistance for people (and their families) who are currently serving or have served in the armed forces:

 

SSAFA provide debt advice, can help with grants and offer other practical and emotional support

 

Royal British Legionprovide support on managing debt,  – all completely confidentially and free of charge

 

 

  • Changes in my caring circumstances

When the person you are caring for goes into residential care their entitlement to disability benefits usually stops after 28 days, although there are some exceptions. This means that your carer’s allowance will also usually cease, unless your cared-for person is still coming home each week and you are providing 35 hours of care or more for them in that period each week.

·      When my caring role ends

When your time as a carer comes to an end, it is important to tell the DWP of your change in circumstances as soon as you are able to. This ensures that you avoid any stress that can arise from an accidental over-payment of benefits which have to be returned to DWP.

If the person you cared for has died, your carers allowance will continue for up to eight weeks after their death. It is useful at this time to get a benefits check to check your current entitlement to other payments.

 

If you were caring for your spouse or civil partner, you may be entitled to claim a bereavement support payment. You can find more details about this payment at the Citizens Advice website.

If you are of working age when your carers allowance stops, you may be asked by the DWP to look for work in order to continue receiving benefits. You can apply for Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit if you are unable to find work straight away.  If you are not well enough to work, you can apply for employment and support allowance.

If you have reached state pension age, you may still be entitled to certain payments.  A benefits check will establish this for you.

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