A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a parent, partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who could not manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental health issues, substance misuse or disability.

You do not have to be in receipt of Carers Allowance in order to be recognised as a carer.

Hear some carers talk about their caring role here.

Carers Leeds offers confidential support to:

  • carers living in Leeds
  • carers who care for someone living in Leeds

Support can be accessed by telephone via the Carers Advice Line 0113 380 4300 or by dropping into the Carers Leeds Centre (between 10am – 3.30pm).

Have an appointment with a carer support worker at our city centre offices, in your home or local community venue.

Join a carer support group, or make an appointment with a carers clinic, at participating GP Practices.

Although for many carers, caring can have positive and rewarding aspects, there are lots of reasons why caring can also leave you needing support.

Caring can have an impact on many aspects of your life and Carers Leeds can talk to you about your health, your caring role, managing at home, taking time for yourself, how you feel, finances and work.

If you are caring for someone with a health condition or a disability you are entitled to an assessment of your own needs, even if the person you care for doesn’t want or need services themselves.

The assessment is an opportunity to talk to professional workers from health and social care (Leeds City Council) about your caring situation and what help you need to continue your caring role.

What will be covered in the assessment?

This is a good opportunity to think about what you are finding difficult and what help you feel you need, this does not have to about what is happening now but maybe sometime in the future.

Some of the areas you may want to discuss are;

  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Is your health affected in any way?
  • Are you able to get out and about?
  • Do you get time for yourself?
  • Are your other relationships affected?
  • Do you want information about benefits?
  • Are you worried you may have to give up work?

If the person you care for has a social worker currently involved in support, speak to them about a carers assessment. Alternatively contact the carers advice line on 0113 380 4300.

There are benefits just for carers, some for people with a disability, and some to help you if you have a low income.

Carer’s allowance

If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring, you may be able to claim carer’s allowance. You may be able to get extra money added to your existing benefits or credits if you claim carer’s allowance. This is called carer premium.

Carers credit

Carers credit is not a payment, but helps people protect their state retirement pension.

Carers credit is for people who are unable to work or have cut down their working hours as a result of caring, and therefore not pay national insurance contributions.

If you are not entitled to carer’s allowance, you may be able to claim carer’s credit instead.

Benefits for the person you care for

Help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long-term health condition.

Find out about claiming:

  • Attendance Allowance (AA) for help with personal care for people aged 65 or over.
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) to help with some of the extra costs caused by long-term ill health or a disability.
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – a benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care. DLA is ending for people aged 16-64.


If you, or the person you care for, need extra help to pay for something there are many grants, funds, and charities that may be able to help.

  • Turn2us is a free service that helps people in financial need to access welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face. The website has a free and easy to use grants search and benefits calculator.
  • Grants for individuals lets you search online for funders and grants if you subscribe.
  • Disability Grants has details of charities and trusts which give out grants to disabled people and their families and carers.

If you need help to fill in the forms, ask the fund if they can support you, or contact the Carers Advice Line, or ask a health or social care professional that supports you or the person you care for, to see if they can help.

There are carers centres across the country, visit Carers Trust https://carers.org/search/network-partners to find yours.

Carers Leeds support all carers living or working in Leeds, and carers in other areas caring for someone living in Leeds.

Care Act 2014

The Care Act 2014 came into force in April 2015. It put in place significant new rights for carers in England including:

  • A focus on promoting wellbeing.
  • A right to a carer’s assessment based on the appearance of need.
  • A right for carers’ eligible needs to be met.
  • A duty on local councils to provide information and advice to carers in relation to their caring role and their own needs.

Employment Rights Act 1996

From 30 June 2014, anyone has the right to request flexible working for any reason as long as you have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks.

If you find it difficult to balance your work life with your caring responsibilities (and your other commitments) you may want to ask for flexible working.

Flexible working could mean:

  • flexible starting and finishing hours,
  • compressed working hours (where you work full-time hours but over fewer days),
  • term-time working,
  • job share,
  • part time working, or
  • working from home.

For more information about being a working carer, visit this page: https://www.carersleeds.org.uk/wc2/

John’s Campaign

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust supports John’s Campaign. John’s Campaign is a National campaign that offers the families and carers of patients an opportunity to have a discussion with nursing staff about staying with a patient in hospital.

John’s Campaign supports care for people who have conditions, such as dementia, where families and carers have the knowledge and skill to work in partnership with ward staff to ensure patients receive care that works best for them.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust invite carers to ask about arrangements that would work well for the carer and improve the care for a patient. Families and carers will not be expected or asked to provide care at any point.

Find out more here: http://www.leedsth.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/patient-and-visitor-information/information-for-carers/

You don’t have to tell anyone that you’re a carer, but it can be useful to register as a carer if you are trying to access certain discounts or services. You can register with Carers Leeds to receive a carer’s information pack and subscribe to our regular newsletter.

You might find it helpful to let your GP know that you are a carer. Your GP should have a register of carers attending the surgery, so it is worthwhile letting them know. Putting your caring status on your record can be really helpful as your GP may offer more flexible services to carers or keep a closer eye on your health.