Financial help for carers

If you look after an adult for at least 35 hours you can also claim. You don’t need to be related to or live with them.

Carers Allowance

If you look after a child or young person with special educational needs, a disability, or a long term illness, you are carer. If you look after them for 35 hours a week or more, you may be entitled to claim Carers Allowance.

Giving up work?

You can claim Carers Allowance and still work part time earning up to £128 a week after tax and national insurance contributions.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

You can claim DLA if you care for a child who

  • is under 16
  • has difficulties walking or needs more looking after than a child of the same age who doesn’t have a disability

Personal Independent Payments (PIP)

PIP is help with the extra costs associated with having long term ill-health or a disability (over 16s). The person you care for could get between £23.60 and £151.40 a week.

Claiming benefits

You may be entitled to claim other benefits whilst you look for work.

See below for help with applications.

Help with claiming benefits

Communicare provides support with claiming benefits, and mandatory reconsiderations. Contact office@communicare.org.uk or call 0118 9263941.

Nquire offers free support, advice, and information to people in and around West Reading. This includes help with welfare benefits advice, form filling, letter writing, and debt referrals. Contact admin@nquire.org or call 01189 959 8558.

Reading Community Welfare Rights provides a specialist service to all sectors of the local community in relation to all welfare benefits including assistance with benefit checks and form filling, advice on your right to challenge decisions, help with appeals, and preparation for court hearings. Contact advisor@readingspecialist.co.uk or call 0118 955 1070

Council Tax Support

If you are on low income you may be eligible for Council Tax Reduction.

Council Tax Reduction may reduce a Council Tax bill by:

  • up to 65% where a person of working age lives in the property
  • up to 100% where an individual or couple are over pensionable age

Help in the community

There are a number of local organisations providing free, confidential, and up to date information and advice for parents of children with special educational needs.

The SEND Local Offer exists to help you find information about local services, support, activities, and events for children and young people aged 0-25 who have special educations needs, disabilities and long term illness. There is also support throughout the Borough for adults with additional needs, disabilities, and long term chronic conditions, and their carers:

Home Start Reading offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children. Parents may be going through bereavement or post-natal depression, coping with a disability, an illness, or social isolation, amongst other things. Contact office@home-start-reading.org.uk or call 01189 956 8800.

Alafia (Acre Family Support Team) supports black and minority ethnic families with a child aged between 0 – 25 years with disabilities and additional needs. Email: info@acre-reading.org or call 0118 951 0279.

Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre supports people with Multiple Sclerosis, whether newly diagnosed and reaching out for the first time, or have lived with MS for a while. Email: ms@bmstc.org or call 0118 901 6000.

Berkshire Phab Centre is a drop-in centre for people with and without disabilities and long-term health problems.  It promotes independence and combats social exclusion. During the week, it is open to adults aged 18 and over, and on Saturday mornings the youth club caters for 9-18 year olds. The centre encourages members to explore their own interests and skills and make decisions for themselves.  We don’t have a set programme of activities, so members can choose what they want to do on the day and include arts and craft, IT, gardening, cookery, and using our fully-equipped sensory room. Email info@berkshirephab.org or call 0118 916 8413.

TuVida (Berkshire) support carers and their families across Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham. Email hello@tuvida.org or call 0115 962 8920

ENRYCH Berkshire works with individual people, regardless of their disability, to enable them to enjoy hobbies, interests and activities of their choosing, and to develop their skills and knowledge through learning opportunities. Email cathy.curtis@enrych.org.uk or call 0118 929 1675​

Reading Deaf Centre (RDC) is a charitable organisation. They support and promote the interests and welfare of D/deaf, hearing impaired, deaf-blind people and deaf carers Email  info@readingdeafcentre.co.uk or call 0118 9594969

Reading Association for the Blind provides the sight impaired opportunities to take part in activities they may otherwise not be able to, and endeavours to reduce social isolation. Email info@rabsightloss.org or call 0118 957 2960​

Reading Mencap provides and information for people with a learning disability and their carers. This includes a home visiting Family Support Service. Email office@readingmencap.org.uk or call 0118 966 2518

The SEND Local Offer exists to help you find information about local services, support, activities, and events for children and young people aged 0-25 who have special educations needs and disabilities.

Registering with the Job Centre

Jobcentre Plus is a government funded employment agency. Its purpose is to help people find work through services such as job hunting programmes and external job vacancies

You will not be able to claim unemployment benefits is you are not registered, for example Job Seekers Allowance, and new style Job Seekers Allowance.

Adelphi House, Friar Street, Reading RG1 1HD