Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers

Q – Am I a carer?

A carer is anyone, both children and adults, who looks after a family member, partner or friend who needs help because of their illness, frailty, disability, mental health issues or addiction and cannot cope without support. 

The care they give is unpaid.

Lots of people who are carers do not instantly recognise themselves as such; they often see the support they provide to a loved one as their duty, simply part of their daily routine. Some carers don’t identifying themselves as a carer for fear of interference by outside agencies. 

You don’t have to live with the person you look after, and it’s possible that you might be juggling caring with other responsibilities like work or looking after children. Each caring situation is unique and the amount of care that different carers give varies enormously.

You may help a neighbour out each day with practical household tasks like shopping, cleaning or gardening – things that they can’t manage themselves. 

Or you may be providing complete physical or emotional care for someone who lives with you and is unable to help themselves. 

Being a carer can include:  washing, ironing, household chores, paying bills, shopping, cooking meals, personal care; which could include washing, dressing, lifting, collecting prescriptions, giving medication and attending appointments. 

See the Luton Council website for some useful information.

Q – Can I work and claim Carer’s Allowance?

You can work whilst in receipt of Carer’s Allowance but you take home pay must not be over £128 per week and you still have to provide at least 35 hours care for the person you are claiming carers allowance for.

Q – Can I attend college full time if I am claiming carers allowance?

You are permitted to attend college or a course for up to 16 hours per week, as long as you still provide at least 35 hours care to the person you are receiving Carer’s Allowance for. 

Q – What is a Carer’s Assessment? 

A carer’s assessment is a chance for you to talk about your needs as a carer and the possible ways in which you can receive support. We can help you to arrange an assessment. There is no charge for an assessment. See the Luton Council website for details.

Q – Can I claim Carer’s Allowance?

There are several conditions that you will need to meet to claim Carer’s Allowance.

Local help in Luton from the Carers Central team: Contact your local Carer Support Workers at our service for unpaid carers in Luton.

Call us on 0300 303 0201.

Email us on our Contact Us’ page.

You can also contact the national Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297.

Q – Can I have a break from caring?

Luton council may be able to help you to take some time out from your caring responsibilities by providing help for the person you care for – either in their own home, in day centres, or in a care home. They call this type of respite care “carer’s breaks”. It can also be valuable for the person receiving the care, as it is a change of routine and a chance for them to meet new people.

Carer’s breaks are for your benefit and wellbeing. But it is very important that the care provided is suitable for the person you care for, and that they agree to this service.

Types of carer’s breaks:

  • Respite day care
  • Sitting service
  • Carers’ short break

You will need to have a Carer’s Assessment to see what type of carer’s break is suitable for you and the person you are caring for.

Carers Central can support you to obtain a carer’s break from Luton Borough Council and provide a better understanding around the process and procedure. 

Q – Do you support young carers? 

Carers Central provides support to carers over the age of 18, who live or care for someone within Luton. 

Please see the Luton Council website regarding supporting young carers.

Q – What is an emergency plan?

An emergency plan is a plan you set out for the care of an adult or a child in case of emergencies. It makes provisions for occasions when you are unable to fulfil your caring role, and it sets out the practical arrangements for short-term, unplanned periods.

Having a plan in place can stop an emergency becoming a crisis. Emergency planning is important to all carers. It gives everyone involved peace of mind that help will be available at all times. 

Emergency planning toolkit: Carers Central can help you create an emergency plan. By answering ‘Who, What, Why, Where and When’, you will be able to plan for any unforeseen circumstances.

Each carer’s emergency plan is different and can be developed over a period of time; you should involve all relevant family, friends and professionals in this process.

Q – Am I entitled to a blue badge?

You may be able to get a badge if: 

  • You have a disability which means you are not able to walk 
  • You have a disability and have a great difficulty walking from your car to where you want to go 
  • You have a disability which means that you are likely to come to harm when you are walking 
  • You have a disability and you are likely to harm someone when you are walking 
  • Some people are automatically entitled to a blue badges

See the GOV.UK website for details.

The Blue Badge scheme is run by your local council. You should contact your local council if you want to apply for a badge. 

You will have to: 

  • Fill in a form 
  • Give them a passport size photo of yourself 
  • Give them some proof that you are disabled 
  • Give them some ID – like your passport or driving licence 
  • You may have to pay some money. 

Carers Central can provide support with applying for a blue badge.

.Q – Do I have to live with the person to be their unpaid carer?

You do not have to live in the same house or even the same town, support can be given in many ways including physical and emotional support.

Have you any more questions and answers?

Send us your questions – Simply email us your questions and we’ll do our best to help.

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