Your rights as a carer
As a carer you have certain rights. These are listed below, but be aware that they will change as the Carers (Scotland) Bill is implemented from April 2018.
If you regularly provide a substantial amount of care for someone you are entitled to a carer’s assessment. There is no definition of what substantial means, or how often regularly is, so if you are caring for someone please get in touch with us to talk about this. Young Carers are also entitled to a carer’s assessment.
You can request an assessment directly from Carers Link or you can contact East Dunbartonshire Social Work services on 0300 123 4510. During the assessment, you’ll have a chance to talk about the care you provide and how this affects you. We will look at the support you get and whether other services could help you.
Carer’s Allowance is currently £62.70 a week. To qualify you must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who already receives a benefit such as Attendance Allowance. You can see the full eligibility requirements on the gov.uk website.
If you care for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you could get Carer’s Credit. This helps build to fill gaps in your national insurance and protect your state pension. If you receive Carer’s Allowance you will automatically receive Carer’s Credit. You can find out more on the gov.uk website:
Your rights at work
The Work and Families Act 2006 gives carers who have been employed for at least 26 weeks the right to request flexible working. You can make one request for flexible working each year. Your employer must consider it but does not have to agree to it.
All employees also have the right to take time off for emergencies to respond to unexpected situations involving a dependant (someone they look after). This is regardless of how long they have worked for their employer.
Time off is unpaid, but at the discretion of the employer, can be, and often is, paid. Employees should inform their employer/line manager as soon as possible following the emergency. You can find out more on the Carer Postitive website.
Self directed support
The Self-directed Support Act provides local authorities with a power to support carers in their caring role. Self-directed support (SDS) allows your local council to pay you money directly so that you can arrange your own care and support. There is more information about Self-directed support on the Self-directed support website