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Financial help and support for carers

Tim Frank, Sally Frank and Susanne McCardel on the beach

If your partner has Parkinson's, or you care for someone with the condition, you may have some concerns related to money.

You may be entitled to claim benefits if you care for someone with Parkinson's.

You may be entitled to claim benefits if you care for someone with Parkinson's.

Everyone is different and the decisions you make about money will depend on your personal circumstances.

But the best thing anyone can do is to get as much information as you can about your options.

How can I access benefits and allowances?

The welfare benefits system can be complex and finding out what financial help is available is not always easy. But it's important to find out what you're entitled to, and to claim it.

Remember, not all benefits are means tested or taxed.

  • Read our information sheets about your rights and benefits
  • If you would like more information about each benefit, or help with benefit claims, speak to the dedicated benefits and employment adviser on our free helpline 0808 800 0303
  • Get in touch with one of our Parkinson's local advisers

We've outlined below the benefits you or the person you care for may be able to claim.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is not intended to be a wage or payment for caring.

Carer's Allowance is not means tested.

It is a taxable benefit for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person. You do not have to be related to the person or living with them.

You must be caring for someone who is receiving either Attendance Allowance or the Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate.

You may qualify for Carer's Allowance even if you have never been in paid employment or paid National Insurance contributions. Carer's Allowance is not means tested.

Claiming Carer's Allowance can sometimes reduce the amount of means-tested benefits received by the person you look after.

You can read more on qualifying and applying for benefits in our Carer's Allowance information sheet or through information from on carers and disability benefits.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is for the person needing care, not their carer. However, you can only claim Carer's Allowance if the person you are providing care for qualifies for Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance.

The person you care for may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if they are 65 or over and need help with personal care.

Attendance Allowance is normally only available for those who have needed help for 6 months or longer.

This benefit is not taxable. It is not based upon National Insurance contributions and is not affected by income or savings.

Attendance Allowance may increase the amount of means-tested benefits you receive. It can be paid in addition to any other social security benefits.

For more information take a look at our Attendance Allowance information sheet or on the Attendance Allowance web page.

Disability Living Allowance

Disability Living Allowance is also paid to the person who needs care or supervision, not their carer. Like Attendance Allowance, it also affects claims for Carer's Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance has 2 parts, or components: a care component and a mobility component. You can get both components or one component, depending on the condition of the person making the claim.

Care component

The care component is paid to people who can't cook a meal, need help with personal care or who need someone to watch over them to ensure that they are safe.

The rate paid depends on the amount of care or supervision required. This will also affect the claim for Carer's Allowance.

Mobility component

There is also a mobility component which is paid to people who have difficulty walking and getting around outside their home.

Find out more on our Disability Living Allowance information sheet. You can also read more on the Disability Living Allowance web page.

How do I access one-off grants?

See the Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search for information about sources of grant funding.

Charitable benevolent funds and trusts offer grants and can support daily costs for individuals in need. Some provide regular help, advice and practical support. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau may hold a record of these.

Occupational charities, for those who work or have worked in particular industries, and those for ex-service people can also be helpful.

More information on benefits for carers

  • Carers UK has a lot of information about benefits you may be entitled to claim.
  • has useful information about financial help, including Carer's Allowance, direct payments and pensions.
  • nidirect has information about benefits for people who live in Northern Ireland.