31st August 2017Category: Working Carers
Benefits and application forms can be confusing and daunting. Applying for Attendance Allowance or it might be that you need to find money to support the person you care for with an adaptation for their home for example. It can feel like an added pressure onto your role as a carer and knowing the clock is ticking in the background can add to that. As a Social Worker (in my former life) I would always need help with understanding the latest changes or what impact events can have on someone’s benefit (i.e. hospital stay). Knowing that there is one to talk to about this ‘world of benefits and funding’ is very helpful and brings confidence with going through the stages of applying.
We have a range of services at West Cumbria Carers and one of them is our Benefit Clinics. My colleague Lynne Christie-Quinn, our Benefit Support Worker is a whizz with a calculator and can make the baffling world of benefits understandable. Lynne previously worked at the Whitehaven Job Centre (DWP) so she knows a thing or two about the application forms. She is also really friendly and nice!!!!
What is a Benefit Clinics?
Benefit Clinics take place monthly at local libraries across Allerdale and Copeland as well as our Cockermouth office. At each session there are appointments available for individuals to book (they must be booked in advance). In the sessions Lynne can help with applications for:
Clinics are held as follows:
Please note that these sessions may be subject to change but you will be advised when you call the office.
Why is it useful to know about the benefits clinics?
As a working carer you may not be claiming any benefits at this time however the person you care for might be or they are in the process of needing to claim. If you are the one they depend on for completing paperwork, it can be daunting to face the application process. It can also be the over thinking of ‘I am writing the right thing’, or ‘the person I care for and myself are struggling to explain on a piece of paper the daily issues and struggles we face’. It might be that talking things through can make the process easier and break it down into more manageable pieces. With these sessions they are free for carers and it is one-to-one so you can sit down privately with Lynne (or one of my trained colleagues if she is unavailable). It might be that you think you have tried every option with funding but there might be a charitable fund you are unaware of. The sessions are based in local libraries and our office so they are easy to get to. This service has helped a lot of people and being able to ask someone who has had years of experience with benefits system is very helpful. Lynne has had fantastic success supporting and securing benefits for over 60 carers or the people they care for.
How to book a session at a benefits clinic?
Appointments MUST be booked in advance. We offer two appointments at each session. For more information or to book an appointment at a venue close to you, please call 01900 821 976.