Information for Carers
As a carer, it can be difficult to know where to start when looking for support. At Care for the Carers, we aim to provide you with clear information about carers’ entitlements and the processes that you are required to follow in order to access the various benefits and services on offer.
The following sets out the main areas to first consider and gives links and contact details for the people you need to speak to. If you are still unsure, please feel free to contact our office and arrange to speak with one of our Carers Support Workers.
If you provide regular and substantial care to someone at home, this could be a partner, family member, neighbour, or friend, you will be entitled to a Carers Assessment.
This is usually carried out by an Adult Social Care Assessor and will involve you discussing the support you need in order to help you continue in, and to have a life outside of your caring role.
As a carer, you may be able to get the following services:
- Home– based Carers’ Respite Service
- Register for a CRESS Card (Carers Respite Emergency Support Service)
- Carers Personal Budget
- Advice and information about local voluntary sector services
East Sussex Carers Card
East Sussex County Council and Care for the Carers are introducing the Carers Card, offering carers savings and discounts at retail and leisure venues in East Sussex. read more
You can find a directory of the businesses taking part in this scheme here
Home-based Carers Respite Service
The Home-based Respite Service gives you a break from the direct responsibility of supervising or caring, by providing a service to the cared-for person in their own home.
Carer breaks should be specifically for you to have time for yourself, to allow you to have planned appointments and training etc. This could be as an ongoing regular or time limited service. The assessor will look at whether you are entitled to this service during your Carers Assessment.
If you provide regular and substantial care, and you need a service or break to support you in your caring role (to an adult receiving, or eligible for community care services), you will be able to choose your service by:
1) Using one of the organisations included in East Sussex County Council’s Framework of Approved Organisations in your area, or
2) Using the funds for a Direct Payment (DP) to buy services from an alternative provider of your choice.
The Home-based Respite Service aims to meet your needs and the person you care for. It can offer you respite outside normal working hours, and you will have the option to choose when you’d like to receive it.
CRESS (Carers Respite Emergency Support Service)
Many carers worry about what would happen to them if, for example, they became ill or were involved in an accident. By registering for a CRESS card, you can get peace of mind by ensuring that alternative short-term care can be provided.
As part of your Carers Assessment, you can record a contingency plan. Ideally you will identify three people and/or care providers who will be able to step into your caring role in an emergency, who will be contacted to confirm they are happy to be nominated.
In the event that none of these options are available, as a last resort care will be provided by Adult Social Care’s own Directly Provided Service. The cover will need to be in place within two hours and will last up to 48 hours (72 in over a Bank Holiday) while longer-tem support is arranged.
Carers Personal Budget
The Carers Personal Budget is a one-off payment for you to buy services to support you in your caring role or pay for leisure activities to enable you to have a life outside of caring. The payment is designed to give you an opportunity to do things such as:
- take a break from caring
- enjoy leisure or social activities
- access education or training and
- help to improve your health and well-being.
For more information on Carers Personal Budgets visit the East Sussex County Council website.
Carers also have limited rights to take (unpaid) time off work to care for a dependent. Parents with children under 6, or disabled children under 18, who have worked for their employer for at least 26 weeks have the right to apply for flexible working arrangements. For further information visit the DirectGov site flexible employment for carers page.
You and/or the person you care for may also be entitled to financial support from central government. These could include:
- Carers Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Housing/Council Tax Benefits
- Income Support and Tax Credits
More information on these benefits can be found on the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Carers UK or Direct.Gov.UK websites. For a detailed guide to the principal rights of carers, we strongly recommend ‘Carers and Their Rights’ by Luke Clements, which can be accessed and downloaded at the Carers UK website.
Alternatively, don’t hesitate to contact our Adult Carers Support Team who will be happy to discuss your situation and offer further information.