If you are caring for a relative or a friend who has an illness or disability you are a carer. If you are providing most of the care which your friend or relative needs it is important that you are properly supported by your Local Authority so that you don't have to cope on your own. While it has always been Government policy to consult carers, it has not always happened in practice. Carers have a legal right to an assessment of their needs (the relevant legislation for this right is the Carers (Recognition & Services) Act 1995 and the Carers & Disabled Children Act 2000). You may be a carer living with or apart from the person you care for, if you care full time or combine your caring role with paid work, you still have the right to a carer’s assessment. You may be offered a carers assessment by your local Social Care Services, if not, you can ask for one. You need to contact the Adult Contact Team (contact details are as below). If you are caring for someone who has a mental health condition you should contact the mental health worker involved as they will be able to arrange the carer's assessment for you. You can also approach your GP or District Nurse and they may be able to do the referral on your behalf. If the person you care for does not want to get any help from Social Care Services, your carer’s assessment is unaffected. If you care for a disabled child you also have the right to a carer’s assessment. You do not always have to be the parent of the child, but you must have parental responsibility.
The Adult Contact Team (DMBC)
Tel: 01302 737391
A carers assessment looks at your needs, as a carer, to be able to sustain your caring role, which includes maintaining your health and well being, your current working situation as well as getting access to direct help with the tasks of caring. The assessment may also provide you with information that may be useful to you as a carer e.g. benefit entitlements and local carer support groups. Once the assessment is completed a ‘Carer’s Plan’ will be written and this document should inform you of any action that is to be implemented to meet your needs as a carer and what services are to be provided to meet those identified needs. If you will be caring for the foreseeable future the social care worker should set a date with you to review your needs and to make sure that any help provided is working for you.
If you are unhappy with the way your assessment has been carried out or with the care plan itself, the Local Authority (DMBC) has a comments and complaints procedure in operation. If you wish to make a complaint you may write or telephone:
The Customer Services Team
Tel: 01302 736000
Benefits for Carers
There are two main benefits for carers:
- Carer's Allowance
- The Carer Premium
This benefit is for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person who receives either; Disability Living Allowance Care Component (at the middle or higher rate only) or; Attendance Allowance at either rate, or; Constant Attendance Allowance paid with the Industrial Injuries/War Pensions Schemes. You must be aged 16 or over. Carer's Allowance is an 'earnings replacement benefit' so you cannot get it if:
Carer's Allowance is counted as income when other benefits are being calculated e.g. Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit.
The Carer Premium
You will qualify for a Carer Premium if you or your partner are actually paid an amount of Carer's Allowance or have an underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance (i.e. your entitlement to Carer's Allowance cannot be paid because of the overlapping benefit rules).
Paid Carer's Allowance
If you are actually paid Carer's Allowance there are no extra rules for getting a Carer Premium. However, the person you are caring for will be excluded from the Severe Disability Premium.
Right to Time Off for Carers
The Carer's Allowance rules allows breaks in care of up to 12 weeks within any 26 week period without affecting payment of benefit.· Up to 4 of those 12 weeks can be for any temporary breaks in care such as a holiday or a short-term stay in a care home for the person you look after.· The remaining 8 weeks allows for either the carer or the disabled person to undergo medical or other treatment as an inpatient in hospital.
Going into Hospital
If you are in hospital, your Carer's Allowance will stop after 12 weeks. It may stop sooner if you have been in hospital or had a break in care within the last 26 weeks.
This is a National Insurance Credit that helps carers to build up qualifying years for the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. To qualify you must care for one or more disabled people for a total of 20 hours or more per week. Each person you care for must receive:
Disability Living Allowance Care Component at the middle or highest rate; or
Attendance Allowance at any rate; or
Constant Attendance Allowance at any rate
Where a person being cared for does not receive an appropriate qualifying benefit, Carer's Credit can still be awarded if you supply a Care Certificate. This will need to be signed by a Health or Social Care Professional. This certificate is supplied with each Carer's Credit Application Pack.
For more information visit www.gov.uk.
Carer's Emergency Contact Scheme
This is a free service funded by DMBC that is available for carers who provide informal care to adults in Doncaster. The aim of the service is to provide carers with ‘peace of mind' if they are involved in an emergency or unplanned situation there will be a contingency support plan in place and the person they care for will be looked after. There is no charge to the carer or the person being cared for. This service can only be accessed through registration. To register you will need to complete a registration form. Once the carer has registered they will be contacted by Housing21, who will provide the Carer's Emergency Respite Service. They will arrange a home visit, to include the carer and the person being cared for. This visit will establish a contingency care support plan based on the level of care normally provided. A small credit size card will be sent to the carer with a unique pin number that can be indentified in the case of an emergency. The DMBC Corporate Alarm Monitoring Centre operates the 24-hour helpline for the Carer's Emergency Contact Card. Please note that this service is for emergencies only. For further information on the scheme contact:
Doncaster Carers Service
Carers Moving Forward
109 Thorne Road
Tel: 01302 812827
Support Groups for Carers
Doncaster Partnership for Carers
The Carers House
2 Regent Terrace
Contact: Debbie Osborne
Tel: 01302 637566
A local independent organisation offering support and advice to adult carers.
Doncaster Young Carers Service
Doncaster School & College for the Deaf
Tel: 01302 366680
Support service for young carers and their families who care for someone at home.
20 Great Dover Street
Tel: 020 7378 4999
Advice Line: 0808 808 7777
Provides information and advice on all aspects of caring to both carers and professionals.
Doncaster Relatives and Residents Association
Tel: 01302 744459
Represents the relatives of those people in care homes or individuals themselves who are in residential care.
Doncaster Communities Live at Home Scheme
Carr House Wesley Methodist Church
Off St James Street
Tel/Fax: 01302 769898
Offers support to members of the community that are aged 60+ who need support of another person to leave their home or are isolated. They provide a Befriending/ Volunteer Visiting Service and have weekly drop-ins with transport in Woodlands and Bentinck Close. They can offer support to go shopping or on short outings and occasional trips to places of interest. Please telephone/write for further information. Please note that there are some restrictions to areas of operation.
Whilst all the information given in this document was correct at the time of going to press, DIAL Doncaster cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.