How to survive as a carer?

For information and discussion about benefits
I'm currently 25 and have been a full time carer for both of my parents for just over 2 years. When I started caring for them I lived with them and started claiming carers allowance. However because my mum is physically disabled she needed to move into a bungalow as she couldn't climb the stairs anymore. My mum and dad moved into a bungalow but couldn't take me with them as they could only get a 1 bedroom bungalow. I took over the tenancy of their old council house. I've been there for 6 months now and I just don't know what to do. I'm in receipt of carers allowance and get £250 a month of them. I also get £450 a month from Universal Credit, I don't have to look for work as I'm on the carers element of UC and I get housing benefit through UC too which is included in the £450 I recieve. It's not a lot because UC is cancelled out by the CA so I just get the housing and carer's elements. I just don't know how I am expected to pay all of my bills and clothe myself, afford public transport to my mum and dad's house every day and still have enough money left over for food! I'm currently skipping meals and having to walk 2 hours to my parents house to care for them before walking another 2 hours in the dark at night back home. I really don't know what to do. I think the government must think that all carer's are married and have extra income. I am struggling with depression, anxiety and I am struggling so much, as if being carer wasn't hard enough!
Hi Victoria
You could speak to the carers UK help line. Additionally, are you able to go to your local Citizens advice. They could look through your entitlements and check your benefits. Universal credit should work the same as previous benefits i.e. grouping together what you are entitled to. However, claimants are expected to check all the information. If you don't really know what you can claim it difficult for you to be able to challenge.
Try these calculators and see if it helps at all. ... gLTOfD_BwE

Can you parents help towards your transport?
You can get travel help if a disabled person is with you. Each LA rules are different.
If you were able to take up a short term/evenings etc college course. You might be able to get student travels costs.
You could contact charities who will give some help/grants towards public transport.
Hi Victoria,
I was very alarmed to read your posting, it's simply not fair that you have been left to look after your parents in this way.

Carers UK has a brilliant helpline and I suggest that you ring or email them asap, email is usually easiest, they will get back to you usually within a week.
I'm puzzled as to the housing situation. You are in their house, and they are in a one bedroom place? Do they own or rent both places? Are you now officially the council tenant, or did they buy their council house? Did they not ever think about how you could afford it?!
Please ask Social Services to arrange a Carers Assessment for you as soon as possible, to discuss your situation. Did SS do a Needs Assessment for mum? Has anyone explained that you can still have the Carers Allowance if outside carers help too?
If mum and dad need you to care for them, then THEY should be paying your fares etc., not you - if you are entitled to CA that means mum must be claiming Attendance Allowance, which is to pay for the extra care she needs!!!
However, these are all temporary issues. You should be allowed to have a life of your own, not just expected to care for mum. Talk to the person doing your Carers Assessment, aimed at getting your life back
Victoria try and reduce you out goings... ... l-tariffs/
Some utility providers give discounts/warm home discounts.
Contact your water company who may provide discounts for low income and single person supplements.
They should had converted the loft space of the bungalow into a bedroom or made some sort of accommodation to allow you to remain in close proximity. Walking home middle of night is bad enough let alone when your knackered/have your guard down.

Wouldn't hurt looking into the conversion, worst thing they can do is say "no" and frankly while it makes the 3 of you much safer, from the local authority POV (money) they'll save plenty.

You've got to wonder about the thought process of these jokers.. 1 bedroom bungalow is not enough for 2 people with health needs, chances are eventually they will need separate beds etc, not to mention all the various equipment.