An overview of carers' rights

If you're a carer, you have certain rights, including employment rights, having an assessment and receiving direct payments.

Carer's right to an assessment

Carers aged 16 or over who provide a regular and significant 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 your household, you are 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. The local Trust is responsible for a young carer's well-being and ensuring the carer receives the 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.

Local trusts must make sure all carers know they're entitled to an assessment of their needs, and to consider a carer's outside interests - work, study or leisure - when carrying out an assessment.

Carers and direct payments

A Direct Payment is cash payment by a Trust to a carer if they assess that carer needs social services. The Trust 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. The Trust can explain these circumstances. 

Carers and employment rights

Working parents of children with disabilities (under the age of 18) have the right to request flexible working arrangements. You 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 you.

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 you receive as a carer. The amount of hours you do, how much you earn and your savings will be taken into consideration.

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If you have a comment or query about benefits, you will need to contact the government department or agency which handles that benefit.  Contacts for common benefits are listed below.

Carer's Allowance

Call 0800 587 0912
Email 
dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

Discretionary support / Short-term benefit advance

Call 0800 587 2750 
Email 
customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk

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Call 0800 587 0912 
Email dcs.incomingpostteamdhc2@nissa.gsi.gov.uk

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