You might benefit from seeking more information about autism yourself, if you haven’t already. Having a good understanding of autism will help the individual as well as yourself and your relationship. You can visit some useful websites by clicking here.
As a parent or carer of somebody with autism you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This is a taxable benefit that can be paid to people over 16 years who provide care for over 35 hours a week provided the person you care for is in receipt of certain benefits. You can find out more by clicking here.
Carers who provide a substantial amount of care should ask their local Social Services for a Carer’s Assessment. This is an opportunity for them to look at your needs for support and further training. Social Services will then include this support in the disabled person’s care plan.
You will be entitled to an assessment regardless of the amount or type of care you provide, your financial means or your level of need for support. You don’t necessarily have to live with the person you are looking after or be caring full-time to have an assessment.
You can read a great guide about carers assessments by clicking here.
NHS Carers Direct Helpline
0808 802 0202
Confidential advice on any aspect of caring, including assessments, benefits, direct payments, individual budgets, time off and maintaining, leaving or going back to work or eduction.
08457 90 90 90
Samaritans provides confidential non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide.
Carers UK Adviceline
0808 808 7777
Adviceline is staffed by experts with extensive experience of dealing with the problems carers face. We provide free and confidential information and advice on benefits and tax credits, carers employment rights, carers assessments, the services available for carers, and how to complain effectively and challenge decisions.
Your GP can help you where needed with any issues affecting your own health and also signpost you to any support services like a parent/carer support group.
If you are looking for a support group nearby, you can do your own research using the Autism Directory or a similar online directory service
The Care Act 2014
In April 2015 The Care Act 2014 replaced most previous laws regarding carers and people being cared for. It outlines the way in which local authorities should carry out carer’s assessments and needs assessments; how local authorities should determine who is eligible for support; how local authorities should charge for both residential care and community care; and places new obligations on local authorities.
From April 2015 there are national eligibility criteria for both carers and the person being cared for. There is a national minimum threshold and if a carer or the person being cared for meets this threshold, they will have eligible needs. From April 2015 you are entitled to a carer’s assessment where you appear to have needs, this matches the rights to an assessment of the person being cared for. You will be entitled to support if you meet the national eligibility criteria.
There’s more information about The Care Act here.
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