Extra support for carers has been made available to support people who are family or informal carers for some of the most vulnerable adults in the borough.
Providing care for a family loved one is often difficult, can be very stressful, and can have a significant impact on the carers own health and wellbeing.
Every year, the council allocates £30,000 to allow for one-off direct payments of £150 to carers to directly support them. This year 200 carers have accessed that payment, but there has been a greater demand on this payment than normal, due to pressures rising from the current cost-of-living crisis, so a further £90,000 has been allocated. This will allow for another 600 carers to receive a payment.
Mr M’s story
Staff regularly help carers to access support and funding that they are entitled to. Recently they helped one carer to get more funds and to have a much-needed break.
Mr M cares for his 67-year-old wife who has dementia and epilepsy. He has been registered with the carers centre for a while but came along to one of the coffee mornings and spoke to staff about his financial difficulties.
As a result, and because he struggles to leave his wife alone, a home visit was completed to carry out a benefit check which identified that Mr M’s wife receives Disability Living Allowance, and Mr M had guaranteed pension credit. Staff helped Mr M to apply for underlying entitlement to carers allowance, and this meant that the carers premium was added to his pension credit providing an extra £42.75 income a week.
Mr M also hadn’t had a break for several years, so an application was made to Carefree Breaks and for a carers one off grant to take a break. Mr M now has a four-day trip booked and his daughter, who lives in Manchester, is visiting to look after her Mum while Dad has a few days to himself.
Councillor Josh Blacker, cabinet member for healthy lives said: “Caring for someone you love can be difficult at times and can sometimes go unrecognised. But the current cost-of-living crisis has made the lives of carers, and those they support, even harder. I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to help with some extra financial support direct to carers.”
How to apply
All known carers will receive a letter in September with details of the extension of this scheme. But carers do not need to wait for that letter in order to apply. Carers can request a grant from any of the following:
- their social worker or care co-ordinator
- the ‘cared for persons’ social worker or care co-ordinator
- an authorised carers worker, such as the mental health carers worker
- Ealing carers centre.
Further details of the scheme are available on the council’s website but those applying need to identify they are eligible by providing just one of the following:
- evidence of a disability related benefit being received by the ‘care for person’ e.g., PIP; Severe Disablement Allowance; Disabled Students Allowance
- evidence of the carer receiving a carer related Benefit or Allowance
- evidence of carers Council Tax discount or exemption received from Ealing Council
- evidence of the carers being in receipt of an Ealing Carers Emergency Card.
Please note, access to the one-off grant is offered on a first come first served basis and subject to limited funds.