Work and benefits when you’re a carer

Find out more about the support you can get if you have to take time off work, or if you need to care for someone full time.

Taking time off work

If you work full time or part-time while caring, it might be hard to find the time for everything you need to do.

Speak to your employer about your situation. Some employers have carer-friendly policies.   They may be able to offer you:

  • carers’ leave (this might be paid or unpaid) 
  • time off for taking the person you care for to appointments (paid or unpaid) 
  • a carers’ support group or contact.

Citizens advice has more information about taking time off work.

“Caring responsibilities vary for so many people. When my Dad was living with IPF, my mum was the primary carer because she lived with him, but she still worked. Me and my siblings spoke to our employers and were fortunate to have compassionate leave granted to help with caring for our Dad. We were also very lucky to have friends help and take the weight off my mum’s shoulders.” Kellie, who’s Dad lived with IPF 

Carer’s assessment

A carer’s assessment can be carried out by your local council or health service. Each UK nation has its own system of assessment. The aim of the assessment will be to help you get the support that you need. You may be asked questions about :  

  • How your caring role affects your life and wellbeing
  • Your own health (physical and mental)
  • Your feelings about caring
  • Your work and relationships
  • Your housing
  • Planning for emergencies

From this, they’ll work out what extra support you may be entitled to. You can find more details about the carer’s assessment at Carers UK

Carer’s Credit

You could get Carer’s Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week . You automatically get Carer’s Credit if you get Carer’s Allowance, or child benefits for a child under the age of 12.

Carer’s Credit is a national insurance credit. So, if you have to stop work due to your caring responsibilities, contributions will still be paid . This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the state pension.

Carer’s allowance

If you look after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance. You do not have to live with or be related to the person you care for. Your eligibility is based on your circumstances, such as:

  • your age
  • whether you work and what you earn
  • whether you get other benefits.

More advice about finances

  • A Carer’s Assessment - your local council can assess whether you have the support you need and are claiming the benefits you are entitled to.
  • Welfare benefits – we have more information about benefits you may be eligible for if you care for someone.
  • Citizens advice – provide help and support for carers, including making day-to-day life easier and information on carers benefits.
  • Money Helper – information on money, health and how to prepare for a carer’s assessment.
  • NHS continuing healthcare – This covers the full cost of care in your home, or in a care home . The person you care for may qualify if they have a ‘primary health need’, which means the care must involve managing their health needs rather than social or personal needs.

Get support

Call or WhatsApp our Helpline for support with your condition. Get advice on your medicines, symptoms or travelling with a lung condition, or just call us to say hello.

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