Benefits and financial support for carers
Caring for someone else can mean spending more money to ensure the carer and the cared for person lives well. For example, keeping warm, eating healthily and taking a carer’s break are all very important to health and wellbeing and may incur extra expenditure.
Therefore, it's important to know that there is financial support and help available to you.
Carer's Allowance / Premium (link opens in new window) is paid to people who spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.
Carer’s Credit (link opens in new window) is a National Insurance credit that helps build your entitlement to the State Pension. It makes sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record. Carers need to be caring for 20 hours or more a week to qualify.
Pension Credit / Income Support / Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit / Employment and Support Allowance – These are means tested benefits. Entitlement will depend on your financial circumstances.
Council Tax reductions - In Central Bedfordshire the Disabled Band Reduction scheme provides for a reduction in the Council Tax rate if an extra room is required for special needs, or if extra space is needed for wheelchair access indoors.
You can do an online check (link opens in new window) of your entitlement to benefits by using the government’s Benefits Adviser calculator.
Your local Citizens Advice Bureau (link opens in new window) can help you with completing forms.
Carers' Discount Card
Unpaid carers in Bedfordshire can benefit from an exclusive card scheme that gives them access to a range of discounts at some local and national businesses.
Carers will be eligible for up to 20 per cent off standard rates when they show their photo identity card at more than 60 participating businesses across Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough including bakeries, restaurants, pharmacies, holistic treatments, beauty salons, clothes shops, taxis, as well as holidays and leisure.
For a full listing please visit Carers' Discount Directory (link opens in new window)
The scheme is part of ongoing efforts to help unpaid carers save money and is offered by Carers in Bedfordshire (link opens in new window), with support from the council and the business community.
We hope that the discount card scheme will also encourage unregistered, unpaid carers to get in touch and find out what other benefits and help are available to them.
For more information about the discount card or if you are or know any unpaid carers who would like to sign up, please contact Carers in Bedfordshire (details below). Alternatively if you are a business (or know of one) who would like to register to offer discounts to carers on products or services, Carers in Bedfordshire would be very happy to hear from you: