Photo: Couple on computer, smiling

Financial support for carers

The financial impact of caring for someone with MS can be huge. There is help out there from public services and other sources, including the MS Society.

This page looks at Carer's Allowance, Direct Payments for social care services, and grants for carers.

Financial support for carers

Carers Allowance

If you care for someone for 35 hours a week or more, you might want to claim Carer’s Allowance.

It’s paid to the carer and not the person with MS. Only one person can receive Carer’s Allowance for looking after an individual.

In Scotland, people who receive Care Allowance will automatically get an additional payment called Carers Allowance supplement. Find out more at mygov.scot.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance might affect payments for other benefits in the household. So speak to a benefits adviser to check your options.

Direct payments

Direct payments give you more control over any help you get from social services. Instead of getting the support arranged by your council or trust, you buy the services you feel you need. There are some conditions, including:

  • You and/or the person you care for has been assessed as needing social care support
  • The council or trust agree on how you plan to spend the money

In Scotland, you can get direct payments through what’s called ‘self-directed support’.

Using direct payments means more control but also more responsibility. Your local authority might be able to support you in this. But if you’d rather they dealt with things themselves, you don’t have to choose direct payments. Find out more about direct payments at Carers UK.

MS Society grants for carers

We value the important role played by families and carers in the lives of people with MS. If you provide help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour who has MS, you could be eligible for a carer's grant.

These are provided to carers of all ages, for a broad range of items and activities, for leisure or personal development (this means getting new knowledge or skills).

Find out more and apply for a carer's grant.

Grants from carers organisations

Some local carers centres have grants available. Quite often this money will be provided for things like short breaks and therapies which can help a carer maintain their caring role.

Find out what’s available near you through the Carers Trust.

Scotland Young Carer Grant

If you’re a young carer aged 16-18 in Scotland, you might be able to get a Young Carer Grant. Find out more and how to apply for here

Further support information for carers

Read more about help for carers in Scotland, and help for carers in Wales.

The booklet Looking after someone: a guide to carers' rights and benefits produced by Carers UK has comprehensive information about the rights that carers have and how to access financial and practical support.

You can get free and confidential advice about legal and money issues from Citizens Advice

Bear in mind that the social care system is changing - and there may be changes that could affect you.