Carers Information - If you need help

posted 22 Jun 2017, 03:00 by Kevin Fuller   [ updated 8 Nov 2017, 03:56 by Jo Sykes ]
Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there.

 Unison and Enable have joined forces to launch a Campaign for Carers with support from Carers UK.   Below you can find information, advice, and signposting to support, for those who care for someone with a disability.  All information is also available on the Enable intranet pages. 

Across the UK today 6.5 million people are carers, supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill.  That’s 1 in 8 adults who care, unpaid, for family and friends. Within our lifetime, there will be 9 million carers.

Our loved ones are living longer with illness or disability, and more and more of us are looking after them. Whether round-the-clock or for a few hours a week, in our own home or for someone at the other end of a motorway – caring can have a huge effect on us, our lives and our plans.

Caring is such an important part of life. It’s simply part of being human. Carers are holding families together, enabling loved ones to get the most out of life, making an enormous contribution to society and saving the economy billions of pounds.

Yet many of us are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, or even struggling with poor health ourselves. We often find it difficult to make ends meet if we’re unable to work or if we’ve reduced our working hours to care. 

Every day 6,000 people become carers. Many don’t know how or where to get help. It can be frightening and very lonely.

For some it’s sudden: someone you love is taken ill or has an accident, your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can’t manage on their own any longer, your partner’s health gets gradually worse, etc.

Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there. 

Juggling work and care can be very challenging, so it’s important to find out about your rights at work as a carer. 

Sussex Police recognise that many of its employees may need time to assist with the care of a loved one, sometimes at short notice and sometimes for long periods, and will try and support all employees who are carers, or become carers due to changes in circumstances. 

Carers UK can give you expert information and advice that’s tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever you are.

Your rights in work come from two sources:

  • the law gives you ‘statutory rights’ which everyone has
  • your contract of employment gives you ‘contractual rights’ which can be more generous than statutory rights

The information in the attached factsheet explains your statutory rights as a carer (NB: it does not cover all of your statutory rights – it just covers the rights that may be of interest to you as a carer). For information on more of your statutory rights you can view the website, however it is always worth checking your contract of employment, staff handbook, HR policies or letter of appointment to see if you have any contractual rights on top of your statutory rights.  Unison and Federation will also be able to help with these queries.

Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there. 

Every day 6,000 people become carers, looking after family or friends who are older, disabled or seriously ill.  At times, caring can be profoundly joyful. There’s nothing more natural and human than helping our loved ones get the most out of life. There’s also nothing more difficult than focusing on someone else’s needs without neglecting our own. Whether we’re caring around the clock or balancing caring with work and family life, it can be exhausting. The ‘system’ can be bewildering. The emotions can be shattering.

The information in the attached factsheet contains lots of helpful information, guiding you through the assessment process, finding out what financial support you may be entitled to, and your rights in work.  The final few pages also include a directory of various external support organisations which you may find useful.

 The factsheet also highlights ten of the key challenges that caring raises:

  • Key Challenge 1 – Getting the right advice and information…quickly!
  • Key Challenge 2 – Coping with feelings of guilt
  • Key Challenge 3 – Being assertive with professionals
  • Key Challenge 4 – Handling difficult conversations
  • Key Challenge 5 – Looking after our own health and wellbeing
  • Key Challenge 6 – Noticing when we’re too stressed
  • Key Challenge 7 – Making difficult decisions
  • Key Challenge 8 – Keeping relationships fulfilling
  • Key Challenge 9 – Adapting to changing circumstances
  • Key Challenge 10 – Keeping a sense of humour


Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there. 

Financial worries are often a part of life for carers.  However, carers may be entitled to financial support in the form of benefits, and reduced council tax etc.  Please find attached leaflets relating to:

·         Carer’s allowance - Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible.

·         PIP - If you are looking after someone who has a disability or illness and is aged 16 to 64, they may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

·         Attendance allowance - If you are looking after someone who has a disability or illness and is aged 65 or over, they may be entitled to Attendance Allowance.

·         Disability living allowance - If you are looking after a child with a health condition or disability who is under the age of 16 years then they may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

·         Help with council tax - Council Tax Reduction (CTR) Help for people on low incomes is provided in England through various local CTR schemes run by councils.

 In addition, if you are on a low income, or receiving certain benefits or tax credits, you may be entitled to full or partial help towards NHS costs such as:

  • Free prescriptions
  • Free dental treatment
  • Free NHS eye tests to help pay for glasses or contact lenses
  • Free wigs and fabric supports
  • Reimbursement of fares to hospital for you or your child (you can also claim for the fares of a companion who needs to travel with you for medical reasons)
  • If you are aged 60 and over, then you can get free prescriptions and NHS eye tests regardless of your income.

If you get Working Tax Credits, then you may be eligible for an NHS tax credit exemption certificate, which entitles you to full help with NHS health costs.

Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there

Being a carer involves providing support and care for someone who has an illness, disability, mental health issue or addiction.  People often assume that carers tend to be women, yet 40% of carers are men.  Being a carer may not be the only role for that person, they may also be the parent, partner, brother, sister, child, friend or family member of the person they care for.  Combining the different relationship roles can be very rewarding but also physically and mentally exhausting. 

Please find attached a copy of the ‘The Care Act Guide’.

The Care Act became law in 2014. It puts together all the previous pieces of law about social care as well as setting out some new duties and rights. The biggest part of the Act, part one, is about how local authorities should provide social care. This part of the Act has been in force since April 2015.

This guide is intended to be used by disabled people and people with long-term health conditions who have support needs. The guide does not cover everything that is in the Act but concentrates on those parts of the legislation that are most relevant to people of working age. Links to other information are provided at the end of this guide.

The guide starts by explaining some general principles that should apply to social care, then takes you through what should happen when you have an assessment, who can get social care support from their local authority, how to plan meeting your care needs, personal budgets and direct payments, how much you might have to pay, what to do if you want to move to another area, and some further information at the end.

 Looking after someone can be tough, but you’re not on your own. There is support out there. 

Jo Sykes,
22 Jun 2017, 03:00
Jo Sykes,
22 Jun 2017, 03:00
Jo Sykes,
22 Jun 2017, 03:00
Jo Sykes,
22 Jun 2017, 03:00