Money and Benefits

*Please note that this information is correct as of June 2022.  Information is regularly updated but may change 

Being a carer can affect your finances but there may be benefits you can claim or ways you can save money.  You can find out more about financial support for you and the person you care for here.

Benefits Calculator 

Finding out what you might be entitled to can be difficult but there are some places that you can get support.  

If you prefer to speak to someone local there are charities who can help you:

  • Carers Support Bexley – if you if you care for someone in Bexley they can talk through if you might be able to claim Carers Allowance and how. 
  • Bexley Mencap – if you care for someone with a learning disability the Bexley Mencap Family Support Worker can talk through if you might be able to claim Carers Allowance and how.  
  • Citizens Advice Bexley – provide free and confidential advice on a range of topics including benefits

(There may be a waiting time for support from local organisations – you can ask this when you make contact with them)

Carers Allowance and Carers Credit

If you spend at least 35 hours a week looking after somebody you may be able to claim Carers Allowance and could get £76.75 a week.  You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you look after to claim Carers Allowance.  It is not means tested, so it is not based on your income or savings but your earnings could affect your entitlement.

Carers UK have a useful factsheet with all of the information about Carers Allowance here where you can find out more information.

Eligibility for Carers Allowance:

  • The person you care for must be getting a qualifying benefit (e.g. Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance)
  • you’re 16 or over
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • you’ve lived in the UK for at least 2 of the last 3 years and have no restrictions on claiming benefits
  • you’re not in full-time education
  • you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • you’re not subject to immigration control 
  • your earnings are £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

If you are getting a state pension you can still claim Carers Allowance but if your pension pays higher than Carers Allowance you wouldn’t get paid extra.  It can still be worth claiming Carers Allowance as you will have what is called an ‘underlying entitlement’ which may mean that other benefits you receive may increase.

You can claim Carers Allowance in many ways:

  • Completing the online form
  • Downloading and printing a paper form
  • You can’t claim by phone but if you need help you can speak to the Carers Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297
  • Speak to a local charity such as Carers Support Bexley, Bexley Mencap or Citizens Advice Bexley who can help you

Carers Credit

If you’re not eligible for Carers Allowance but care for somebody for at least 20 hours a week you may be able to get Carer’s Credits.  These help with gaps in your National Insurance record which your State Pension is based on.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people who have reached State Pension age and need regular help with personal care because they have a disability or illness that makes it hard to look after themselves.  Personal care may be things like getting dressed, eating, drinking or washing.

You could get £68.10 or £101.75 a week depending on how much help you need and can still claim it if you’re working.  It won’t affect your pension and you can spend the money however you like, for example helping towards bills, paying for a cleaner or paying for transport.

You won’t be able to claim Attendance Allowance if you already get Personal Independence Payment or the ‘care component’ of Disability Living Allowance.  

You can claim Attendance Allowance if:

  • You have reached State Pension Age
  • You need help looking after yourself because of disability or illness
  • You have had the disability or illness for at least 6 months

To claim Attendance Allowance:

  • Download and complete a claim form
  • Call the Attendance Allowance helpline to ask for a copy of the form on 0800 731 0122

The claim form is long, but it doesn’t have to be completed in one go and there are local charities who can help you – you can find more information about these on our Local Places for Support page.  – insert internal link

It is important to be honest about the help you need and how long things take you, as well as making sure you explain what happens on good days and days that aren’t so good.  Carers UK have made a helpful factsheet full of information about claiming Attendance Allowance.

Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is money for people under state pension age who have extra care needs or mobility needs (difficulty getting around) due to a disability.  You must find it difficult to do everyday tasks and have found these things difficult for at least 3 months as well as expecting them to continue to be difficult for another 9 months. 

There are two parts to PIP (called components):

  • The daily living component, and
  • The mobility component.

You may qualify for one or both of them based on how difficult it is for you to do certain things like getting around, preparing food or dressing.

The daily living component is for the extra help you need with everyday tasks such as preparing food, getting dressed or communicating with people.  You could get £61.85 or £92.40 a week depending on how many points you score at your assessment.  

The mobility component is for the extra help you need getting around which could include planning journeys, following a route or moving.  You could get £24.45 or £92.40 a week depending on how many points you score at your assessment.  

To claim Personal Independence Payment:

The first step is to call Department of Work and Pensions on 0800 917 2222 and go through a form with them over the phone.

They will post you a ‘How your disability affects you’ form which you will need to fill out by the due date.  You will need to describe how your disability affects you and the support you need as well as sending any documents with the form that might help your claim (such as medical records or letters from people who help you).   Mencap have an in-depth factsheet to help you fill out this form

Once your form has been reviewed by a health professional you will likely be invited for an assessment which will be in person or could be over the phone.  You will be asked questions about how you do activities and how your disability affects your life.  It is important that you go to your assessment or speak to the assessor if you need it moved due to your needs.

After your assessment you will receive a letter telling you if you are eligible for PIP, how much you will get and how long you will get it for before you need to do a new assessment.  If you are not awarded PIP but feel that you are eligible you can challenge the decision and ask for it to be reviewed again.  

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is the main benefit for children under 16 with a condition or disability to help meet the extra costs that may arise due to their disability.  Adults used to be able to claim DLA but this has now been replaced by Personal Independence Payment (although some people may still be on DLA if they have had it for a long time).

There are two parts to DLA (called components):

  • The care component, and
  • The mobility component.

You may qualify for one or both of them; the care componant can be paid from3 months of age and the mobility component from 3 years of age.

The care component is based on the extra care or supervision that your child needs and whether this is during the day or night.   You could get £24.45, £61.85 or £92.40 a week.  

The mobility component is for children who need help in getting around.  You could get £24.45 or £64.50 a week.

To claim Disability Living Allowance:

The first step is to call the DLA helpline on 0800 121 4600 and request a form.  This will make sure that it is date stamped and will help make sure the benefit is paid from the earliest point, although you can also download the form online

You will need to fill out the form which can be a long process but you do not have to do it all in one go.  Sometimes it is useful to keep a diary for a week before completing it where you write all of the extra things that you have to do for your child and how long this takes.  Contact have some useful tips and videos on completing the DLA form

Once you have sent your form back you should get a decision letter within 3 months.  If you are not happy with the decision you are able to challenge it and request for it to be reconsidered.

Universal Credit 

Universal Credit is a benefit to support you if you are working but on a low income or if you are not working.  If you receive Carers Allowance this will be taken off your Universal Credit payment.  Universal Credit is replacing many other benefits, such as housing benefit and income support, over the next few years.

To claim Universal Credit:

You will need to make your claim online via the Government website and have information available to help you complete the form.  The website gives you details of what information you will need before you get started.

If you can’t apply online you can call the Government Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644 or the Citizens Advice helpline on 0800 144 8 444

Other Financial Help

Council Tax

Council tax bills are calculating by assuming that there are at least two adults (over the age of 18) living in a property. If there are more than two people over 18 at the property, the bill does not increase, but if there is only one person who is counted as living there you could get a reduction – a single person discount.

As a carer you could be ‘disregarded’ which means that when your council tax is calculated it is if you do not live in the house.  This means if only one person is counted as living in the house you can get the single occupier discount of 25% off your bill.

As a carer you can be disregarded if:

  • You provide care for at least 35 hours a week
  • You live with the cared for person
  • You are not the spouse or partner of the cared for person, or their parent if the cared for is under 18
  • The person you care for receives either Disability Living Allowance (middle or high rate care), the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment, or Attendance Allowance, the highest rate of Constant Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment. 

To apply for this discount, you need to speak with the council tax department at Bexley Council on 020 8303 7777 or apply on their website.

Help with prescription costs

You may be entitled to free prescriptions if you:

  • are 60 or over
  • are under 16
  • are 16 to 18 and in full-time education
  • are pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months and have a valid maternity exemption certificate 
  • have a specified medical condition and have a valid medical exemption certificate 
  • have a continuing physical disability that prevents you going out without help from another person and have a valid medical exemption certificate 
  • hold a valid war pension exemption certificate and the prescription is for your accepted disability
  • are an NHS inpatient

You can check to see if you are eligible here

If you cannot get free prescriptions and have to pay for a lot of prescriptions, it can be cheaper to buy a prescription prepayment certificate.  This covers all your NHS prescriptions no matter how many items you need.

You can either get a 3 month certificate or a 12 month certificate and epending on how many items you need each month you could save £340 a year.  You can pay for your certificate in one go of pay by monthly direct debit installments if you buy a 12 month certificate.

To find out more about Prescription Prepayment Certificates and buy online you can look at the NHS website

Winter Fuel Payment

This is a payment of between £100 and £300 each winter to help you pay your heating bills if you have reached State Pension age.  It is based on your age, whether you receive certain benefits and who you live with.  

If you’re receiving State Pensionor certain other benefits such as Pension Credit or Attendance Allowance, you should get a Winter Fuel Payment automatically. If not, contact the Winter Fuel Payment Helpline to make a claim on 0800 731 0160 or visit You only need to claim once – after this, you’ll receive payments automatically every year.

Blue Badge 

Whilst a Blue Badge isn’t a benefit, it is something which can help you in your caring role and help the person that you care for.  It provides parking benefits such as parking on yellow lines, in disabled bays or free parking in pay and display car parks.  If you, or the person you care for, have a health condition, hidden disability or difficulty walking then you can apply for a Blue Badge.   As a carer you can only use the blue badge if the blue badge holder is in the care or is being dropped off or collected.

There is a range of eligibility criteria you must meet to be issued with a Blue Badge which you can find out more about on the Government website.  

You can apply for a Blue Badge via the Government website.  You will need to pay a £10 fee and your badge will last for 3 years. 


There may be grants which you could apply for to fund a variety of things such as specialised equipment, household items or mobility equipment.  Carers Trust have some useful information on their website to get started and Turn2Us have a useful grants search tool to help you find grants

Keep up to date with carers news

You can sign up to regular carers e-newsletters from Bexley Council to stay up to date with national and local carers news here.

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