Support, advice, benefits and discounts for carers

Carers Allowance

Benefit available for people who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week

Carers allowance is a benefit available to you if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week (you do not get paid extra if you care for more than one person. If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance). The current rate for Carers Allowance is £69.70 a week. To be eligible for carers allowance you must care for your child for at least 35 hours a week and the child must be in receipt of the middle or highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance.

You can only claim if your income after Tax, National Insurance and Expenses is £132 a week or less.

For more details see:

Local Parent Carer Forums

Support organisation for carers provided by your Local Authority

Every local authority provides a Parent Carer Forum, they offer information, support and training to parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

You can find your local Parent Carer Forum here:

Children With Disability Services

Support for you and your child from social servies

You can apply for a needs assessment from your local Children with Disabilities Service (part of the social care department) to see what help they may be able to offer both your child and you as a carer.

To find out how to apply in your local area, enter your details here:

After applying they'll normally get back to you within 48hrs, telephoning to discuss why you think you need an assessment and telling you the next steps. If it's determined that you meet the eligibility criteria to have a full assessment, a social worker will arrange to visit you within 10 working days to complete the assessment (it is a requirement that they see your child as part of the assessment). The social worker will meet with you to discuss your situation, what help you would like and what they might be able to provide you. They will discuss things like your child's care needs, the affect this has on your life and the support network you have. They will complete the assessment within 45 days. Their report will be shared with you and any needs Identified will be developed with you into a child and family support plan.

To many the idea of volunteering to be assessed by a social worker might seem strange, but they can be an excellent way of accessing support services and finding out about assistance that you didn't even know was available. (Support available can include support from an allocated social worker or a child & family worker (CFW), direct payments that enable parents and carers to employ a personal assistant (PA) to support their disabled child and allow some breaks from caring, home care support or support to access the community through a specialist care agency, overnight short breaks, specialist assessments and behavioural support through organisations such as Aspens, access to targeted short breaks provisions, including after school clubs, Saturday clubs and holiday play schemes). Also your report from this assessment can be helpful when applying for other support, such as in a DLA application.


Free short breaks for full time carers

Carefree is a charity that provides free short breaks to full time carers (30+ hours a week, aged 18+) by using 1 or 2 night stays that are donated by their hospitality partners (they're working on making longer breaks available).

There is no charge for the accommodation, but you are responsible for all other costs (transport, food, travel insurance etc.) and there’s a £25 admin fee to help with the cost of operating the charity. You must be able to arrange for interim care for while you are away.

Carers First

Advice and support for carers

Carers First works directly with and for carers to provide personalised information and advice. Making it easier for those caring for someone else to continue living their lives to the fullest.

Carers Trust

Carers support charity

Carers Trust is a major charity for, with and about carers. They work to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems.

They have a national network of local support partners which you can search on their website to find appropriate support in your area.

If you are a carer you may be able to receive a Carers Fund grant as part of a package of support from your local Carers Trust Network Partner.

Carers UK

Carers support charity

Carers UK is an organisation that provides information, advice and support to unpaid carers. Most counties or regions have their own specific carers support organisations and Carers UK has a search function on their website to help you find what support may be available locally to you.

Discount For Carers Cashback Card

The “Ode Card” is a prepaid Visa debit card (£2.99 per year) that pays you cashback of upto 15.5% when you use it to shop in store or online. It can be used a wide range of stores, including big supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. They also have a smatphone app to let you check your card balance and see how much cashback you've earned.


Support charity for young carers aged 5-12

Honeypot is charity that provides support for young carers in the 5-12 age range. Their early-intervention, Wrap-Round service is designed to provide relief, protect mental health, and develop social confidence, and delivered in safe, nurturing environment. Each year, they aim to offer places to over 2,500 young carers and vulnerable children across the UK through residential breaks, and a range of digital and face-to-face support services.

As part of their Wrap-Rround service, they also provide small grants to young carers from deprived backgrounds for life’s essential items, such as a new washing machine or school materials.

Ogilvie Charities

Grants to support respite holidays for carers

The Ogilvie Charities make grants to support respite holidays for carers. The primary aim is to give a complete break to a carer while the person cared for is receiving respite care. In exceptional circumstances we may assist where the carer and cared for wish to holiday together, provided they are husband and wife or partners, or an adult child caring for an aged parent or vice versa. If funds allow, consideration may be given to funding family holidays in the UK where one or more family member suffers a severe disability.

Typical grants range from £200 to £300.

Respite Association

Respite care and breaks for carers

The Respite Association provide short term assistance by funding appropriately qualified respite care for people with disabilities, long term physical or mental health conditions and those you are terminally ill in order that their regular unpaid carer can be allowed to take a much needed break. Breaks can take the form of anything from enabling attendance at an evening class to a weekend break or longer. They also provide free week long seaside holidays to enable carers to recharge their batteries. In 2021, they purchased their first bricks and mortar respite facility – a purpose built holiday bungalow in Cornwall. They also have a caravan in North Wales.

Sick Children's Trust

Accommodation for families while their child is in hospital

The Sick Children's Trust has "Homes from Home" at 10 locations across England that give families a free place to stay while their child is in hospital.