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Carers Direct

Are You a Carer?

NHS ChoicesThere is a wealth of information on NHS website about carers and caring. If you want some help from your local support group please contact Kingston Carers Network on 0203 031 2751.

Kingston Mental Health Carer's Forum - charitable organisation in Chessington which offers advice, support and training to those who care for someone with a Mental Health problem (membership free). Tel 07983 063578 (24-hour voicemail) website: email:

Below are some links into the site that you may find useful.

Caring for a parent at home

Watch the video on caring for a parent at home. In the video, Claire and her family talk about the decision to care for her mother at home.

Telling friends about your caring role

It's important to tell your friends about your caring role and how it affects you so they can understand and support you. It might not be easy to know where to start, especially if you haven't been open about it in the past, but it's important to be honest.

Breaks from caring

Breaks or time off from caring are vital. Whether it's an hour every day, a couple of hours a week or a two-week holiday, we all need some time to ourselves, and carers are no exception.

Housing for carers

Finding appropriate housing, or adapting either your home or the home of the person you care for, can make your life as a Carer a lot easier.

Carers Support Groups

Money and Legal

Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.

Benefits for carers

As a Carer you may be able to claim several benefits. There are three main types...

Benefits for the person you care for

The person you care for may be entitled to several benefits because of their condition and circumstances. It can be difficult to identify exactly which benefits they might be able to claim.

Death and benefits

As well as the emotional effects of the death of someone you cared for, there will be practical matters to deal with. Your own benefits may be affected, and you'll need to notify the agencies that were paying benefits or tax credits for the person who has died. There are also benefits to help with funeral costs.

Managing someone's legal affairs

There may be a time when you need to make decisions for the person you care for because they're unable to do so.

Other benefits

You, or the person you're looking after, may be entitled to benefits to top up your income, so it's worth checking to see if you're eligible. These benefits can be claimed by you or the person you're looking after, or both of you, depending on your circumstances.

Personal and household finance

This section contains information to help you and the person you look after make the most of your money.

Social fund

The Social Fund is intended to help you with living costs that aren't covered by your weekly benefit payments.

Tax credits

You, or the person you're looking after, may be entitled to tax credits. These tax credits can be claimed by you or the person you're looking after, or both of you, depending on your circumstances. The word 'you' in these pages refers to whoever is claiming the benefit.

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Angela M J Bantick