Long term carer but don’t understand benefits available

I’ve been a carer for 23 years and I have no support. Mum gets DLA middle rate and low rate. I now due to severe abuse from her feel that I need to do much less for her. I’m aware of direct payments, does this replace DLA? Does a needs assessment for her mean that she pays for services from her DLA?
If someone could explain benefits available, so that I finally understand it I’d be grateful. She’s 75
I know that my mother feels isolated and would like to leave the house a little more.
I live with her as she is unable to live alone.

Hi Daffy.

( One of the better guides to the UK Benefit System in plain English : understanding UK benefits )

Starting from square one , an online benefits calculator :


One which is simple to use and asks for figures to be input.

That will give you the basic benefits available in your , and your caree’s , situation.

So far , DLA mentioned … correct flavour for Carers Allowance to be claimed.

Are you claiming it ?

If not , what income are you surviving on ?

Housing … owner occupied / tenanat … if the latter , social housing or b.t.l. … housing benefit paid ?

Council tax … discount / disregard ?

Direct Payments ?

Full so available under a mini bible of a thread :


Also contains the full sp on how to go about approaching your LA for both needs and carers assessments.

Have a good read … then , return to us on the forum if you have any further questions.

Hi Daffy,
Briefly: use an online benefits calculator to see what she is entitled to e.g. Turn2us Benefits Calculator
Basically, your Mum would need an updated Needs Assessment taking into account all the things you are no longer prepared to do for her. The care could be directly arranged by the LA or she could opt to receive DP to pay someone to care for her. You can read about the options here: Practical support | Carers UK She would then have a financial assessment to see what she needs to contribute towards her care. This seems to vary across local authorities.

Others will be along, I’m sure, with further info on this.


Thank you for the replies and the useful links, especially the link on assessments. I’ll have a good read over the weekend. I do get carers allowance.
At the moment I don’t think my mothers mental health is stable, perhaps it would be worth getting her a mental health review before getting a needs assessment. Her behaviour is very unpredictable.

Hi Daffy,

Here is a rough introduction to what ought to happen now, a Rough Guide.

It would be best to talk over your concerns about mum’s mental state with her GP, rather than Social Services. Do you think she is developing dementia…or?
Social Services should be doing a NEEDS Assessment, to see what support she needs for daily living, and this should be independent of whatever you do.
Do NOT let her say “my daughter does…”
They should also do a Carers Assessment, to work out what support you need, especially if you are also working.
Once they have decided on what she needs, they should cost it and work out a “Personal Budget”.
Then, and only then, they should work out who will pay the cost of meeting mum’s needs, mum, or them, after a formal Financial Assessment.

Thank you for being so clear bowlingbun. I’m so over-whelmed that it’s been difficult to think straight. Her abuse is leaving me in a state of shock at times. Mum has schizophrenia, ocd and a few mental health issues, which are anxiety provoking for her. I think there are early signs of dementia, but she did pass a five question test with the GP. The GP did acknowledge that the test is limited. She had a mini stroke earlier in the year so perhaps something has altered in the brain slightly. I think she needs a mental health review, a medication review and a full dementia test. Her personality is utterly draining.

Thanks to your advice I’ll go to the GP first.

My mum had some mini strokes, and with each one she never quite got back to how she was previously. She gradually lost her sight, her hearing, got her words hopelessly muddled up at times, and worst of all, couldn’t remember the names of the flowers I took from her own garden. Her garden was mum’s only real hobby, she only enjoyed garden centres, and could remember not only the names of her plants but also the garden centre where she bought them.
Keep a diary now of what is happening on a daily basis. GP’s often don’t want to give a formal diagnosis, but that diagnosis is SO important, as it makes someone eligible for Attendance Allowance as a rule, and also, the person concerned becomes completely exempt from council tax, from the day of diagnosis. I do wish doctors realised how delaying a decision cost patients thousands of pounds!

Bowlingbun, I can hear the love you had/have for your Mum. Our conversation has highlighted to me that the mini strokes could be a major factor in the change of her personally. Her anxiety has also greatly increased.
I will take your advice and keep a diary.
I’m a keen gardener. I love having greenery around me. I grow flowers, but it’s the growing veg that I truly love.
I feel calmer than I did a few days ago. Once again thank you.