Thursday 15th June 2017
As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo advice column this week we focus on financial help if you, or someone you care for, is unable to work.
My father who is 58 recently had a stroke and I have cut down my working hours to care for him. He receives sick pay, but we are struggling financially. Is there any help available for us?
Financial support is available for people when they become ill, as well as for their carers. What is available will depend on your circumstances. Last year we saw an increase of 21% in enquiries about disability benefits.
Your father may be eligible for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to help with his daily living and mobility expenses. His eligibility will be assessed on how his condition affects him, and what support he needs.
To apply for PIP, your father should call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222. He will need to start the claim over the phone. They will then send out a paper form for him to complete to explain how his health difficulties affect him. PIP payments are backdated from the date of the initial phone call as long as the form is returned by the deadline given, although this can usually be extended if you ask.
There may also be help available for you as his carer. Carer’s Allowance is financial assistance for people who have less time to work because they are caring for someone. If you earn £116 a week or less from your job after tax, and care for your father for 35 hours a week, you may be eligible.
You can make an application on the gov.uk website. To claim Carer’s Allowance, your father needs to be in receipt of the component of PIP which covers daily living costs (as opposed to mobility costs). You can ask for this to be backdated up to 3 months from the date any PIP award started.
For more help and advice go to citizensadvice.org.uk or telephone Citizens Advice Exeter on 03444 111 444.
Look out for our column next week when we focus on changes to Debt Relief Orders.
The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk