Caring for Someone with a Disability or Illness

Focus on Disability - For Disabled People, the Elderly and their Carers in the UK

Help for carers who look after a friend, relative or neighbour who need help because of sickness, age or disability. Community care depends on carers, and carers are entitled to help themselves

See also:
Carers Allowance

Benefit Rates

Social Services

You have the right to ask the social service department for an assessment for your disabled friend or relative.

They may offer help such as a place at a day centre, home help, adaptations to the home, meals or temporary respite care in a residential or nursing home.

Carers providing or intending to provide a great deal of care regularly can request an assessment of their ability to care and continue to caring at the same time as the disabled person is assessed.

If you cannot manage anymore, social services may be able to arrange a permanent residential place for the person you look after. A Sitter: A sitter to look after your friend or relative every so often can give you a regular break. Many areas of the country have sit-in schemes such as Crossroads, sometimes run by social services, but often by voluntary organisations.


Disabled people who need a lot of help may be able to get either Attendance Allowance if they are over 65 or Disability Living Allowance if they are younger. If you look after a disabled person you may be able to claim Invalid Care Allowance, provided you meet certain income and age qualifications. If you are on low income, there may also be other benefits you can claim such as Income Support or Housing Benefit.

For advice visit your local Social Security office

Caring for someone ? (FB31) from your Social Security office


Council Tax: Some carers and disabled people can get reductions in Council Tax (regardless of savings)

Income Tax: Married men with dependent children whose wives are severely disabled can get an additional personal tax allowance on top of their Married Couples Allowance.

Someone to talk to: There are carers’ groups in many parts of the country where carers can get together to discuss their concerns with others in a similar position. Some areas have carers’ workers whose job it is to coordinate groups and get support for people.

Support Resources

Carers UK – is a charity set up to help the millions of people who care for family or friends. We provide information and advice about caring alongside practical and emotional support for carers . Carers UK also campaigns to make life better for carers and influences policy makers, employers and service providers, to help them improve carers’ lives.

Carers UK 20 Great Dover Street London SE1 4LX Tel 020 7378 4999

Carers Northern Ireland 58 Howard Street Belfast BT1 6JP Tel 02890 439 843

Carers Scotland The Cottage 21 Pearce Street Glasgow G51 3UT Tel 0141 445 3070

Carers Wales River House Ynys Bridge Court Cardiff CF15 9SS Tel 02920 811 370

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers – provides quality advice, support & information to carers across UK
Crossroads (Association of Crossroads CareAttendant Schemes Ltd) have merged with the ThePrincess Royal Trust for Carers

Computer4Carers -Assisting family carers obtain a computer to help them cope with their isolation.If you have one to donate then please get in touch.