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Help for carers

Read more about the help that may be available if you or someone you know is caring for someone who has an illness or disability.

Turn2us Carers information


Benefits that may be available to carers include:

Carer's Allowance: If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and the person you care for is getting a benefit because of  their disability.

Carer's Credits: Carers can be ‘credited’ with national insurance contributions to help them qualify for other benefits which they may not otherwise have been eligible for if their caring responsibilities prevented them from being able to work and pay national insurance contributions in the normal way.

Help from the local council: If you are caring for someone, help may be available to you from your local council social services department specifically to meet your needs as a carer. All carers have the right to an assessment of their needs, although what sort of assessment, who does it and your associated rights to support depend on the type of carer you are and where you live.

Income Support: If you, and your partner if you have one, are on a low income or not in full-time employment and fall into a category of people who do not have to look for work. You must usually be 18 or over but under Pension Credit age (some 16 and 17 year olds can get Income Support).

Universal Credit will eventually replace Income Support but can only be claimed by certain jobseekers at this time. The areas that will see the introduction of Universal Credit between February and July 2015 have been released. For details, see National expansion of Universal Credit

Help with housing costs: If your household income is low, you may be able to claim help with rent or mortgage costs.

Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator

To check what benefits you might be entitled to quickly and easily, you can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.


Help may also be available to you from a charitable fund, depending on your background, circumstances and needs. Use the Turn2us Grants Search to find possible matches. In some cases, you can also make online enquiries to possible charities through Turn2us.

Advice and Support

If you need advice on your particular situation, you can find local experts using the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool.

Support is also available from carers charities, such as:

Carers Trust: Has a network of 116 independent carers centres, 55 Crossroads Care schemes and 99 young carers services. These provide information, advice and practical support to carers across the UK.

Carers UK: Runs a national carers helpline - 0808 808 7777 (Mondays to Fridays 10.00 am to 4.00 pm freephone from landlines and some mobile networks - check with your supplier) - and provides lots of information and an online forum on its website to help carers.

Date of publication: June 2015 Turn2us e-newsletter

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.