Carers face extra financial pressures and crisis when caring as they are often forced to reduce hours or need to give up work and face the extra costs of disability and ill health. In 2013, Carers UK published the Caring and Family Finances Inquiry. It showed the wide range of costs faced by families with caring responsibilities. This showed higher spending on typical household costs such as utilities, food and transport. In addition to this is the costs of disability-related spending, like care services, equipment, cleaning products and home adaptations.
“In the five years since the inquiry, the UK cost of living has increased while wages and benefits have stayed the same or been cut. For many, this can result in lasting hardship and debt, often made worse by delays in getting the right financial support and advice.”
It can be difficult to face up to debt and money issues, especially with the added pressures of caring. There is lots of free, confidential help and advice available and it’s important to get the help and advice as early as possible. It is important to check any entitlement to disability or carers benefits that you and the person you care for may have. If you are still in paid work you should also check your employment rights as a carer.
Below is a list of free, confidential services who can offer debt and money advice:
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- Civil Legal Advice (if your home is at risk)
- Community Money Advice · Debt Advice Foundation
- Debt Support Trust
- Money Advice Service
- National Debtline
- Step Change