Caring and Finances

With the cost of living showing no signs of slowing down, many people are finding themselves in financial strain. Unpaid carers are particularly vulnerable to the rise in costs due to the nature of their caring role. Sixty-two percent of carers agreed that they’ve been finding it more difficult to manage financially due to the increase in the cost of living*.

It is easy for financial issues to creep up on us and budgets to become tight, especially for those relying on benefits such as Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind at only £76.75 per week (2023/24 rates) for providing a minimum of 35 hours of care. It also has a strict earning limit, which means carers have no option of additional hours if they are employed. This is just one example of how a carer’s ability to earn income is limited. Many have to reduce their hours at work or leave employment to support the person they care for full-time.

Carers often bear additional costs of caring which are not met by existing benefits. These costs can quickly add up from additional energy use for heating, medical equipment, additional laundry, transportation expenses for medical appointments, and daily essentials for their care recipients. All of which can be necessary in ensuring the overall wellbeing of the person you care for. Therefore, with limited ability to earn and the additional costs of care, which many cannot cut back on, leave carers financially vulnerable. As a result, many carers find themselves relying on credit cards, loans, or dipping into their savings to make ends meet, further exacerbating their financial strain.

The consequences of this hidden debt are profound, extending beyond the realm of finances. Carers experiencing financial hardship may face heightened stress, anxiety, and even depression as they struggle to balance their caregiving responsibilities with their financial anxieties. In some cases, the burden of debt can lead to social isolation and a deterioration in physical and mental health.

If you are in debt or struggling financially in your caring role support is available, you can contact us on 0121 788 1143 and one of the team will be able to advise and signpost you to the correct support. Below are some resources and links to organisation that specialise in this type of support and can help you directly.


Support Available

StepChange Debt Charity
This national charity gives free advice on:
• managing debt
• individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs)
• applying for the Breathing Space scheme, a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt
It also runs a free online debt advice service that’s available 24 hours a day and can help you to create a personal action plan.

Call 0800 138 1111 (Freephone including all mobiles)
Visit the StepChange 
website by clicking here.   

Citizens Advice Solihull Borough
Citizens Advice gives confidential advice on benefits, benefit assessment and debt. You can also get referred to this service via any GP Surgery.
Telephone 08082 787976 to find out more about the services available
You can also go to the CAB website by clicking here

Community Advice Hubs
Our Community Advice Hubs provide support with debt and applying for benefits to residents who are not a tenant of Solihull Community Housing..
To contact the hubs or book an appointment:
• call: 0121 709 7590

Carers Talk Podcast
Why not check out our podcast? In epsiode 4 we talk with Act On Energy about their organisation and how they can support people struggling with energy costs. You can click the picture (on the right) to listen for free.

Carers Talk, episode 4 - Act on Energy. Click here to listen

*Statistics from Carers UK State of Caring Survey 2023 – Link Here

Related Finances, Adult Carer

bbc radio wm logo

Raising awareness with BBC Radio WM

Our own Pauline Manby shared with Merisha Stevenson of BBC Radio WM, the work we do to help support and raise awareness for unpaid carers. Watch the segment here.

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