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Being a carer can lead to money worries, from having to financially support another individual to not being able to work as a result of caring responsibilities. Around 20% of UK carers are in or have previously been in debt as a result of having to care for another person and only 48% of carers can pay their bills without financial struggles.

Financial difficulties carers may face can add significant stress to the already pressured role of looking after a vulnerable individual. Through managing debts and receiving financial support the burden can be eased.

Here is some advice on how as a carer you can keep on top of your finances, helping to reduce the burden and increase the quality of your life:

Banking Options:

There are useful ways to make banking an easier and more efficient process for you and the person you care for. By speaking to your bank, you can set up:

– Direct debits, so bills are paid on time, reducing the potential debt

– Online and mobile banking, allowing you access to your account 24/7

– Standing orders, the person you care for can send fixed amounts each month for you to use on their behalf

Free financial advice:

You can access financial guidance through debt charities who can work on your behalf to work out what you can afford to pay and help you reach a realistic budget:

– Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Support Trust

– Citizens Advice Bureau

Financial Support:

You may be eligible to access certain financial support to help you in your role as a carer:

Carers allowance: if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week you may be eligible to receive funding of £67.60 a week to support you and the individual you care for

– Council Tax Reduction: help for people on low incomes in provided in England through a range of local CTR schemes

– Personal Independence Payment Attendance Allowance (PIP): The person you care for may be entitled to receive PIP to help with extra living costs if they have a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability and suffer difficulties in doing certain tasks as a result of their condition.

By Tabitha Desmond

Working for Carers is a London-wide project that supports unpaid carers, aged 25 or over, to move closer to employment. The project is led by Carers Trust and delivered by its network of partners across London. Working for Carers is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.