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Your rights as a carer

As a carer, you may not feel you have the right support, or that your needs are often dismissed or considered low priority. We give you a few important facts to be aware of when it comes to carers’ rights.

1. Carer’s assessment

If you care for someone regularly, then you can receive a carer’s assessment — all you need to do is contact your local authority’s social services department to request one. During the assessment, you’ll have a chance to talk about the care you give and how it affects your life. The assessor will then tell you what sort of support, benefits and services can help you and who will provide it.

2. Carer’s Allowance

The talk was hosted at the Patio Pop-up in east London and we got to enjoy a selection of drinks and delicious pizza provided by elder, who sponsored the event.

3. Protect your state pension

If you care for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could also get Carer’s Credit and this helps build your entitlement to basic and additional State Pension. Carer’s Credit is a weekly National Insurance credit for carers that you’ll automatically get if you receive Carer’s Allowance. Otherwise, you can also apply by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit.

4. Flexible work arrangements

If you’re working as well as caring for someone, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements to help you carry out your responsibilities. You can make one request for flexible working each year — your employer must consider it but does not have to agree to it.

5. Social services

If social services carries out a care assessment for the person you care for, your views will also be taken into consideration when deciding how best to support them. You can also receive assistance from social services such as practical help at home, help with taxi fares, counselling for stress and information about local support groups. Take a look at the Carers Trust website or check your local authority’s website to find out what services are available in your area.

6. Making complaints

If you have any concerns about the support that either you or the person you care for is receiving, you have a right to complain to the local authority that is providing the service, or the Care Quality Commission.

If you’re a carer working for elder and are struggling with your workload or have health problems, then don’t be afraid to reach out to our support team on 0333 241 3141 or hello@elder.org.