Money and Benefits

Are you worried about debt or are you struggling with budgeting and making ends meet? The Citizens Advice Bureau, run a Money Mentoring programme to help you manage your finances. This can take the form of one off advice or a series of up to four face-to-face meetings. All sessions are in strict confidence and non-judgemental so that they can help you to effectively assess your current situation and to look at what you can do to get on top of your money.

If you think that you could benefit from this service please call us on 0800 368 8349 and ask to speak to a support worker who will refer you into the programme.

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services- online, by phone and face to face. Their website includes an easy to use Benefits Calculator and Grants Search Tool.

Financial support – things to consider

  • If you spend at least 35 hours a week caring you may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. There are also other benefits and credits that you may be able to get.
  • The person you care for may be able to get help with the extra costs of being disabled or having a long term health condition. See if they can claim Attendance Allowance (AA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • Tax credits and Income Support can help top up your income.
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support can help with housing costs if you have a low income.
  • You may be able to get help heating your home either via the Winter Fuel Payment or a Warm Home Discount Scheme.
  • You may be able to lower your water bills if the person you care for has a medical condition that significantly causes them to use more water or if you are in receipt of certain benefits. Visit the Wessex Water website for more details.
  • You may be able to get help with health and care costs including help paying for dental treatment, free prescriptions, and help managing and paying for care and support.
  • Carer’s Credit is not a benefit but will help make sure you will still have a state pension even if your caring responsibilities mean that you can’t work. Pension Credit is extra money for pensioners on a low income.
  • You can apply online for a free TV licence if you are 75 or older on the TV licensing website. You can also apply by phone: 0300 790 6071 (minicom: 0300 709 6050). Find out how to get a free or discounted TV licence on Gov.uk
  • Age UK Dorchester runs free and confidential benefits advice surgeries in the following locations for older people, their families and carers:
    • Dorchester – Sessions will operate on the fourth Thursday in each month, between 9am and 12.30 pm at Age UK Dorchester. To make an appointment, please contact Age UK Dorchester on 01305 269444 or at Rowan Cottage, 4 Prince of Wales Road, Dorchester DT1 1PWPortland – Easton (an initiative with Island Community Action) – Sessions will operate on the second Tuesday in each month, between 10am and 12.15pm at Island Community Action, and will be by appointment only. To make an appointment, please contact Island Community Action on 01305 823789 or at The Easton Centre, Portland DT5 1EB. office@islandcommunityaction.org.ukWeymouth – Sessions will operate on the second Thursday in each month, between 9.30am and 11.30am at Weymouth Community Safety Centre, Radipole Lane, Weymouth, DT4 0QF, and will be by appointment only. To make an appointment, please contact Age UK Dorchester on 01305 269444.Bridport – Sessions will operate on the first Wednesday in each month, between 9.30am and 12noon at Age UK Dorchester shop in Bridport, 16 West Street, Bridport, DT6 3QP
      To make an appointment, please contact the Bridport shop on 01308 424859.

Dorset Carers Card Scheme

If you are registered as a carer with us then you will be eligible for the Carers Card Scheme. If you haven’t yet registered as a carer then contact us today to do so.

The scheme offers a range of discounts on goods and services including:

  • Days out and activities
  • Travel and holidays
  • Health and beauty
  • Sport and fitness
  • Places to eat and drink
  • Trades and services

Information about where you can use your card is available here and is updated regularly.

CarerSmart Discount Club

As a carer you can join the CarerSmart discount club which offers benefits and discounts exclusively to carers and people with care needs. Joining is easy and free, once you’re a member, you can benefit from a wide range of offers including cash back on shopping from numerous high street retailers and discounts on holidays and travel. Visit the CarerSmart website to register. https://www.carersmart.org/

Grants for carers

If you, or the person you care for need extra help to pay for something, there are many grants, funds, and charities, like the Carers Trust or The Leonardo Trust that may be able to help with funding for things you might need.