Help available for carers
There are several different forms of help available to those who care for a loved one.
Caring for someone can be rewarding but can also be a challenging and stressful time for the carer and there is help available if you need it.
Find out about:
Council Tax discounts and exemptions
You may be eligible for a Council Tax discount or exemption if you or someone you live with is a carer, a care worker, has Dementia or is disabled.
Council Tax Reduction
The level of discount is based on the income of the household. However, carers allowance and disability benefits are not counted as income within the scheme.
The maximum discount Medway Council offers is 65% of the Council Tax for working age households and 100% for pensioners.
Financial help for carers
The Department for Work and Pensions offers a range of benefits to support carers.
General household support
The Household Support Fund provides support to vulnerable Medway households. Funded by the UK government, the scheme is for those most in need of support to help with significantly rising living costs.
The fund can be used for:
- food and home essentials
- essentials linked to energy and water
- housing costs in exceptional circumstances.
It cannot be used for mortgages.
MoneyHelper joins up money and pensions guidance to make it quicker and easier to find the right help.
MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of 3 government-backed financial guidance providers:
- the Money Advice Service
- the Pensions Advisory Service
- Pension Wise.
Carers first provide support for young carers and adults, paid or not. You can contact Carers First from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Fridays, 9am to 4.30pm by phoning 0300 303 1555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carers Emergency Card
The Carers Emergency Card gives immediate access to pre-arranged planned care. This gives carers confidence that the person would be looked after if they were taken ill or involved in an accident.
The scheme provides carers with a key fob and a card the size of a credit card to keep with them. It will make people aware they're a carer in case of accident or sudden illness. The carers can write the number of the person to be contacted in an emergency on the card or key fob. If the nominated person is not contactable the number of Medway Adult Social Care is on the card or fob.
The card or fob will provide carers and the cared for person peace of mind. It will enable the nominated person or Medway Adult Social Care to put in place the contingency plan for the cared person.
Imago delivers a wide range of projects across Kent and Medway, offering support for young and adult carers.
Age UK Medway provides a carers relief service. It's a flexible service based on the carer's and client's requirements supporting older people at home or within the community.
Medway Voluntary Action (MVA)
Established in 1989 and now embedded within Medway's communities for over 30 years, the MVA has a strong history of supporting and representing voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Medway.
Find information on free support for local charities and community groups on the MVA website.
Dementia Cafés offers refreshments and snacks in a friendly environment. Activities include quizzes, bingo and games.
The cafes offers support from health and social care professionals, including signposting from available literature and from other carers.
Citizens Advice Medway
Citizens Advice Medway is a registered charity that offers free, independent, confidential, and impartial advice 24/7 for whatever you’re struggling to handle. This could be housing, welfare benefits, employment, debt, family law, or something else.
Medway Better Together consortium
The Better Together consortium is a collaboration that provides advice, guidance and support to Medway carers, residents and voluntary sector organisations.
Your local GP
All local doctors surgeries have a link worker to direct patients and Dementia co-ordinators.
Find out more on the Kent and Medway NHS website.