In line with government guidance we have had to make some changes to the way we work. You can read more about this here.
As is the case with many face-to-face services, we have had to suspend our usual Benefit Clinics. However, we can still support you with your non means tested benefit queries/claim forms over the telephone.
If you wish to arrange a telephone appointment with the Carer Benefits Support Worker email email@example.com or call 01900 821976.
There have been a lot of changes to the benefit system during the pandemic. Carers UK have created a very useful A-Z of these changes which you can access on their website.
The Benefits Clinics run monthly in libraries across West Cumbria: Seascale, Whitehaven, Workington, Keswick, Silloth, Maryport and Wigton. Appointment slots are available with one of our trained members of staff.
During these appointments, we can help you to complete applications for the following non-means tested benefits (clicking on each Benefit link will take you to the relevant DWP webpage where you will find details about elibigibility etc.):
We can also support you to make a referral to the DWP Home Visiting Team if required.
In addition we can provide you with information about and support to access; Council tax discounts, health benefits and funding, grants from appropriate charitable trusts and benevolent foundations, and discounts from local businesses, leisure facilities etc.
We offer one or two appointments at each session, dependent on the popularity of the location. ALL appointments MUST be booked in advance. For more information about our Benefits Clinics, or to book an appointment at a venue close to you, please call us on 01900 821 976 or contact us online here.
Mr A aged 79 cares for his wife aged 75 who has a diagnosis of mixed dementia. They have managed to continue to live a fulfilling life in retirement despite living with this diagnosis. He manages all of his wife’s care needs along with many of her daily living tasks, as they have no family living locally who could provide any help. They have managed quite well together until recently when his wife’s symptoms have increased.
Mr A was referred to West Cumbria Carers by his GP. One of our Adult Carers Support Workesr met with the couple and they completed a carer’s assessment and a contingency plan, which identified a number of key areas of support. These were put into place to help Mr A and included:
Mr A initially refused any benefit support. As retired professionals he felt that "why should they be entitled to any extra money and what would people think if they knew?" The couple, like many others in their circumstances, are entitled to financial support to help with extra costs associated with illness or disability. Mr A attended one of our Benefits Clinics at his local library and met with our Benefit Support Worker. He received advice and support to claim Attendance Allowance and following this he now has a Council Tax Reduction in place for someone in the household who lives with an enduring mental illness.
Attendance Allowance is only one of the benefits available to people living with a long term illness or disability. It is a tax free non means tested benefit which helps with the extra costs you incur if you are ill or disabled. The benefit amount is based on the help and support a person needs. Mrs A now has a cleaner who helps and it takes a little pressure off Mr A, freeing up his time to support his wife.
Depending on your circumstances there are other options available for financial support through different benefits and funding sources. If you are struggling financially because of ill health or are in a caring role for someone then book an appointment with our support worker at one of our library clinics, where we can look at your circumstances and identify what support is available.