Don’t make assumptions about carers’ knowledge of what help is available.
It isn’t only new or ‘hidden’ carers who don’t know about their benefits or pensions; those who have cared for many years may still be missing out.
The benefits and social care systems can seem very complicated, so messages need to be simple and short.
Leave it to the experts
The best way to help carers with their entitlements is to make sure they understand about their rights, but if you aren’t confident with the detailed stuff, leave it to the experts. Your role is to signpost carers to where they can get the right help.
Don't make assumptions
Just because someone gets one benefit does not necessarily mean that they know about or get all the other benefits they may be entitled to. People don’t always let you know the full details of their circumstances – benefits advisers are trained to deal with this, and that’s why it is great to ask one to attend or be able to refer carers to an adviser.
Promote a benefits check
Encourage them to have a proper benefits assessment to make sure they are getting the help they are entitled to. The benefits system is undergoing a great deal of change and it is more important than ever to get some expert advice.
Make sure you're keeping things realistic
Sharing information materials can help to explain the basics to carers, but do be realistic. Tell them they might be able to claim, and they could be better off. Avoid words like ‘can’ or ‘will’ if talking about entitlement to services or benefits.
Use your newsletter
If you have a newsletter you can include information on benefits or financial entitlements: include a few simple tips in each issue.