COLUMN: Citizens Advice manager says support is available when illness strikes

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The scenario: “My father recently had a stroke and I have cut down my working hours to care for him. He receives sick pay, but we are struggling financially. Is there any help available?”
Roger sayd: Financial support is available for people when they become ill, as well as for their carers. What is available will depend on your circumstances.

Your father may be eligible for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) to help with his daily living and mobility costs. His eligibility will be assessed on how his condition affects him, and what support he needs. 
To apply for PIP, your father can call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and then complete the form he is sent. He can request a form by post, but it is usually betterto start the claim over the phone, as PIP payments are backdated from the day you made your claim. 
There may also be help available for you as his carer. Carer’s allowance is a financial assistance for people who have less time to work because they are caring for someone. 
If you earn £110 a week or less from your job after tax, and care for your father for 35 hours a week, you may be eligible. You can make an application on the gov.uk website. To claim Carer’s Allowance, your father needs to be in receipt of the component of PIP which covers living costs – as opposed to mobility costs.

For more information visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. Citizens Advice Derbyshire Districts offers free, confidential and independent advice on any subject and you can call in to the office in the Town Hall, Bank Road in Matlock, to see us in person or call 0844 3752712 from 9.30am to 4pm on weekdays.