Your rights as a carer are enshrined in the Care Act 2014. These rights are limited and in practical terms do not always offer any huge amounts of support or financial protection, especially once your caring role has ended. The cuts to local government funding means that carer support is very limited and means that carers are very often forced to struggle on and suffer extreme hardship.
Combined with the difficulties of explaining how your caring role came about, the stigmatisation and assumed responsibility or culpability of 3rd party victims of crime, asserting your rights as a carer, might feel incredibly difficult.
Your right to a carer’s assessment
You are entitled to a carer’s assessment. An assessment does not mean that you will receive any specific help however as this is dependent on your needs. and the money most often comes from local government funds. However, some people are able to access NHS continuing care funds which are greater.
Your human rights
Your human rights are explained in this booklet. It explains your rights and those of the person you care for.
Your rights at work
Your rights at work are protected and there is legislation to help and support you. You should be entitled to unpaid leave to care, flexible working and emergency leave. There is more information about this in the work section of this guide.
Your rights under the Mental Health Act
If you provide care for someone who is detained under the Mental Health Act you may have rights and responsibilities as a Nearest Relative. Importantly that role may legally belong to another person so it’s worth making sure you understand who your loved one’s nearest relative is. There is more information about this on this Rethink Mental Illness page.
Having rights and feeling able to assert them are two totally different things. Simply accepting that you are a carer can be an emotional experience in itself.