Financial Support

Caring for someone can lead to money worries, especially if your caring role means you have to give up work. There could be financial support available to help you.

Benefits

Carers Allowance is a benefit you could get if you care for someone. To be eligible to apply:

  • You must spend at least 35 hours per week caring for someone, whether or not you live with them.
  • The person you look after receives certain benefits.
  • If you work you can claim as long as your net earnings (after tax and National Insurance) are under a certain level. 
  • You’re not in full-time education or in receipt of state pension.
Protecting your State Pension
If you give up work to care for someone, you might be worried that not paying National Insurance (NI) will lower your State Pension. But if you care for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could get Carer’s Credit, which helps to maintain your NI record.

You will get Carer’s Credit automatically if you get Carer’s Allowance, although you don’t have to be receiving Carer’s Allowance to get it.  

Universal Credit  
Universal Credit has replaced means-tested benefits. 

Benefits calculator and further information

Carers can use the Citizen’s Advice Benefit calculator.

Carers UK provides advice and factsheets on the financial aspects of caring and how to manage income and expenditure.

Upfront will help you understand what benefits and entitlements you can receive as a carer.

If you are looking for extra financial assistance for someone with a disability, then the Disability Grant website provides a list of grant providers.

Help from your local council

If you have a carer’s assessment from your local council, they may find that you are eligible for a carer’s personal budget, to help you with your caring role.

Help With Utility Payments and Council Tax

You can get help if they are struggling to afford your energy bills, or top up your prepayment meter. If you’re on a low income you could be entitled to the Government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme. The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between October and March.

You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out. The discount will not affect your Cold Weather Payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below over seven consecutive days.

If you’re in debt to your energy supplier, you might be able to get a grant to help pay it off. All households will receive £200 off their energy bills in October 2022. This will be applied automatically to every single bill and is not optional – you can’t choose not to get it. If you’re on prepay, the Government will pay it through your smart meter or give you a voucher or a cheque. 

Then from April 2023, and for five years after that, you will then have your bill automatically – without choice – increased by £40 a year. 

Council taxpayers in bands A to D will receive a rebate of £150 from their bills in April 2022, which will not have to be paid back. 

Broadband and Telephone Costs

Low-income households are entitled to cheaper broadband packages through social tariffs. 

WaterSure is a scheme which helps lower your water bills, if you are on benefits and need to use a lot of water either for medical reasons or because your household has a certain number of school-age children. You need to have a water meter installed. 

Free Boiler Scheme, Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation

Under the ECO Scheme, qualifying home owners could have their old in-efficient boilers replaced completely free of charge, or heavily subsidised via a new boiler grant, as well as cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.

You may qualify for if you claim certain benefits and meet other requirements. In some cases you may be able to get help even if you’re not receiving any benefits.

Unlike other schemes ECO is not a government grant, it is an obligation placed on the largest energy suppliers to support households install energy improvements. Visit Energy Company Obligation website to see if you qualify for help.

Energy Saving Advice

Advice to save energy/money can be found at Simple Energy Advice including information about draught-proofing, saving energy, making sure you’re on the right energy tariff and energy suppliers are aware if anyone vulnerable lives in the house, turning down your heating by 1 degree and replacing lighting with low energy light bulbs.

Age UK Free Home Energy Check

Service offered to anyone over 50 who resides in the county and are: 

  • Finding it difficult to keep their homes warm and therefore at risk of cold related illnesses. 
  • This includes those struggling to pay their bills. 
  • Those in fuel debt. 
  • Those without heating. 


This free service is run in conjunction with Age UK’s Handyperson Service available to carry out:  

  • A thorough conversation assessing the person’s heating patterns, health needs and home equipment. 
  • Installing Simple energy efficiency equipment. 
  • Giving key tips and advice and distributing relevant information guides. 
  • Providing information on other support services. 

The Handyperson Service can fit:  

  • Draught excluders – for doors and letterboxes. 
  • Radiator panels. 
  • Energy efficient light bulbs. 
  • Light timers. 
  • Night lights. 

This whole service is completely free and an excellent annual service to help the most vulnerable cope in the winter months.

Contact Age UK 

Tel: 01234 360510  
Email:
enquiries@ageukbedfordshire.org.uk   

www.ageukbedfordshire.org.uk  

 

Carers in Bedfordshire Help and Support

We have Carers grants available to enable you to take up a break, activity, service or training that will improve your health or wellbeing.

What financial support you’re entitled to can be confusing and foreboding. If you would like to talk to one of our support workers who can talk you through it, please call 0300 111 1919 and register with us first.