Being a family or unpaid carer may leave little time to keep on top of your finances or know your legal rights and those of the person you care for.
Carers UK publishes a Carers Rights Guide which you can download free of charge. It outlines your rights as a family carer, and the practical and financial support which is available.
Updated December 2016
The GOV.UK website has a lot of information about benefits and allowances for family carers, including Carer's Allowance and Carer's Credit. The Carers UK website also has a section on financial support.
Age UK Suffolk has a Information Advice Service offering practical assistance to secure your full entitlement to benefits and maximise your income, a countywide telephone helpline, a home visiting service for completion of claim forms and confidential benefit checks. This service is available to anyone who is of minimum state pension age.
The Mental Capacity Act provides a framework to protect vulnerable people over the age of 16 who are not able to make their own decisions. It makes clear who can make decisions for people who are unable to do so themselves, and in what situations such decisions can be made. It also allows people to plan ahead in case of a time where they may lose capacity, and this may result in a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Total Voice Suffolk offers a range of advocacy and self advocacy services for people across the county who lack mental capacity or have a mental health condition. Click here for details of other advocacy organisations.
Carers UK publishes Being Heard, a self-advocacy guide, here to help you find your way around the care system, get your message across and cope with complex thoughts and emotions when you are caring.
If you need to get a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to help manage the affairs of someone you care for, this will allow you to make decisions on their behalf about things such as property, financial affairs, health or welfare.
There are two different types of LPA, one dealing in health and welfare and the other with property and financial affairs.
Information and downloadable forms are available from GOV.UK There is also useful guidance from the Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK and the Citizens Advice website. Mencap has information for family carers of people with a learning disability.