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What does registering as a carer mean?
Registering as a carer simply means getting in touch with organisations and letting them know we’re looking after someone. Registering as a carer can bring many benefits, a few of which we’ve listed below.
What are the benefits of registering as a carer?
Registering as a carer has many practical benefits. Such as being invited for free flu jabs or flexible medical appointments. It can also open up doors to various financial help.
Carers in the Mobilise community shared some of the benefits of registering as a carer:
Free annual health checks with our GP/pharmacy (and free flu vaccines)
Support and funding to access short breaks or respite i.e. carers break grants
Where can I register as a carer for a family member?
If we’re looking after someone who has a disability, mental health condition, or long-term illness, we can register a carer with:
Top tip* - It's a good idea to ask if the person we care for can be added to the register too, particularly with the GP.
Register as a carer with your GP
Ask your GP whether you can be put on their Carers Register. All GPs should have a Carers Register which we can access by filling out a simple form.
The GP should then put a note on the system that we are a carer, and on the person, we care for’s record, that we are their carer.
Doing so can give us more flexibility around managing our appointments, setting up repeat prescriptions and receiving free annual health checks. Including free flu vaccinations. Or booking an appointment for the person we care for, without them needing to be there.
At the hospital
It can also be helpful to ask to be registered on the person we care for's record at the hospital. This lets hospital staff know who the carer is should they need to make contact with us.
Register as a carer with the Department of Work and Pensions
As carers, there are many benefits and financial support we may be eligible for. For example, if we are receiving a benefit from the Government such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Credit or Universal Credit, we’ll automatically be registered as a carer with the Department of Work (DWP).
In most cases, being in receipt of these benefits can be used as proof that we are unpaid carers.
If you have not yet, use our free checker tool to see whether you may be eligible for:
Register as a carer with your local council (Carers Assessment)
We can register with our local council through a free Carers Assessment. But don’t be put off by the word ‘assessment’! A Carers Assessment is simply a series of conversations with a focus on our caring role. It helps us identify areas where we may need that extra support from our local council.
Some local councils offer online Carers Assessments in the first instance to help give us time and space to think clearly about our responses at a time that suits us. This helps form a great starting point for wider conversations later on.
"I found out that having a carers assessment could result in me receiving a personal budget to support me with my caring" - Suzanne
Read up on how it went for other carers, top tips and a glimpse into the questions that may be asked.
Register as a carer with your local carers service
Our local carers support service can support us in many ways.
Some of the benefits of registering with our local carers service may include:
Provide us with information and advice (i.e. on benefits)
Help us map out a support plan / emergency plan
Host events and activities so we can connect with others just like us
Peer support and respite opportunities
Connect us with other local support networks
In some areas, provide access to small grants for carer breaks or household essentials to help make caring more manageable
What’s the difference between a Carers Assessments with the Local Authority and the Local Carers Support Organisation?
It’s helpful to know that in some Local Authorities, the statutory duty (required by law) to provide Carers Assessments may have been passed over to local Carers Support Organisations to carry out on their behalf. The outcomes of these assessments, although not carried out directly by the Local Authorities, still lies with them to action the support we need and, if eligible, provide us with funding.
If our Local Authority is carrying out the statutory Carers Assessments, then some local Carer Support Organisation will also carry out a separate one on their own.
This will help our local Carers Service:
Understand our caring situation
Determine the level of support and services that they are able to provide to meet our needs. I.e. through respite groups, activities, one-to-one support, benefits advice, access to small grants and a place to connect with others who ‘just get it!
Carer Support Organisations are often independent charities. Their services are mainly free of charge so it’s worth seeing what they do. We may find something that can make our lives as carers a bit more manageable!
Just a heads up!
We can choose to have either or both forms of assessments - statutory and Carer Support Organisation based. It’s good to know how each can help at different stages of our caring situation.
Assessments are also worth re-visiting in case things have changed. It helps us to really zoom in and look back at what is working and what is not. Think of it not as an ‘assessment’ but as a starting conversation to explore what will benefit us and the person we care for.
Ask your employer if you can register as a carer
If we are working, it’s worth letting our employers know that we are carers. Some employers will have a formal carers registration process so we’d encourage you to check.
Letting our employers know about our caring situation may enable us to be more flexible around our working arrangements, appointments or if there are emergencies we need to attend to.
It may be helpful to familiarise ourselves with our rights at work. Such as the right to request flexible working if we’ve been with our employer for 26 weeks.
Check if the school, university or college has a Carers Register
Carers in the Mobilise community have shared that although it’s not common for most educational systems to have an official Carers Register, it’s definitely worth checking.
We can do this by letting our teachers, tutors or academic advisors know (by email or in person) that we are looking after someone who depends on us as early as possible. Being open and honest about our situation (to the point we feel comfortable) can help us alleviate the stress and anxiety of going through the education system ‘alone’.
In some circumstances, it will enable staff to be more understanding of our situation and perhaps give us some flexibility around our timetable.
Our article '10 Top Tips for Young Adult Carers off to University' include helpful carers’ tips on how we can best prepare ourselves for education.
Can I register another family member to be a ‘carer’?
Only the person looking after someone vulnerable can register themselves to be the carer of that person. This includes registering as a carer through the GP or when applying for a benefit (such as Carer’s Allowance).
Share your experiences
If you've registered as a carer, what have you found to be most beneficial?
Share your experiences in the Mobilise community for unpaid carers, a place where we have daily conversations and share our wisdom and top tips.