Who is a Carer?
The Care Act 2014 brought about significant new rights for carers. These include the entitlement to an assessment based on the appearance of need. A carers Assessment MUST take into consideration the carer's interests i.e. work, study or leisure and should focus on promoting wellbeing. Also there is:-
- A duty on local authorities to prevent, reduce and delay need for support, including the needs of carers.
- A right for carers' eligible needs to be met.
- A duty on local authrities to provide information and advice to carers in relation to their caring role and their own needs.
- A duty on NHS bodies (NHS England, clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts) to co-operate with local authorities in delivering the Care Act functions.
Carers aged 16 or over who provide a regular and substantial amount of care for someone aged 18 or over, have the right to an assessment of their needs as a carer. If there is more than one carer providing regular care in the household, both entitled to an assessment.
Occasionally a 16 or 17-year-old who cares for someone for a limited period may be entitled to an assessment. This should take into consideration the young carer's wel-being and ensure they receive necessary support.
If you have parental responsibility for a child with disabilities, you have the right to a carer's assessment. You don't need to be the child's parent e.g. grandparents.
Carers and Direct Payments
- A Direct Payment is cash payment to a carer if they are assessed as eligible for support. Social Services can make a Direct payment instead of providing services directly. Direct Payments can be made to carers aged 16 or over. there are some circumstances where direct payments are not given. Social Services should give an explantation why.
Carers and employment rights
- Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. They also have a statutory right to ask your employer for flexible working if you care for an adult who is a relative or lives at the same address as them.
- Carers also have the right to take unpaid time off work for dependants in an emergency. Returning to work after being a carer may have an impact on any entitlements and benefits received as a carer. the amount of hours worked, earnings and savings will be taken into consideration.