Understanding Carer’s allowance and direct payments
If you or your loved one is receiving or providing home care in Manchester or the surrounding area, there are a few important things you need to know. Unfortunately, when it comes to care, many people simply accept what they are given and don’t fully understand the rights they are entitled to. We understand that the vulnerability of a loved one can often make it difficult to demand change, ask questions, or speak up when receiving inadequate care – which is why we hope to empower you and your loved one to stand up for what you deserve.
In this post, we provide information on Carer’s Allowance and whether you are eligible, as well as information on how the Care Act places new duties and responsibilities on local authorities with regards to care and support for adults.
The power of the Care Act
The most important aspect of the Care Act is that it gives you the right to choose your care provider, even if local authorities have already matched you with care services. That’s right: you are allowed to change care providers until you find one that truly matches your needs and meets your expectations. Under the Care Act, local authorities must provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. This ensures people fully understand how care and support services work locally, the funding options available, and how to access these services.
What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is a monetary supplement of £67.70 a week to people who spend at least 35 hours per week providing regular care to someone. To receive Carer’s Allowance, you don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for. While you can qualify for Carer’s Allowance whether you are in or out of work, you must not earn more than £128 a week. To be eligible to receive Carer’s Allowance, a few conditions must be met.
Understanding Direct Payments
An important part of the care and support plan is that the Care Act provides people with a legal entitlement to a personal budget. These are known as direct payments. Direct payments give you the right to choose and buy the services you need yourself, rather than getting them from your council. So long as the direct payment is used to meet the needs specified in the plan, you have a voice in how the money is spent. In short, the local authority must provide a direct payment to someone who meets the conditions in the Act and regulations. You can apply for direct payments here.
Choosing care that is right for you
We believe that every person has the basic right to be a participant in their support package. Yet so many people don’t realize they have a choice in the care they receive and simply accept what local authorities provide – even if they are unhappy with the standard of care they are receiving. Unfortunately, fear mongering and a general lack of awareness often prevents people from taking action and standing up for themselves. Our hope is that armed with this new knowledge regarding Carer’s Allowance, direct payments, and your rights outlined in the Care Act, you and your loved one will feel empowered to demand the quality of care you deserve.
Get in touch
If you would like to know more about Carer’s Allowance, direct payments, or if you require more information about the services we provide, please get in touch. We understand that organising care for a loved one can often feel like an overwhelming task and you are likely to have have a lot of questions. We’d be happy to assist you in any way we can.