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.

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 be able 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. There are rules about how much you can earn. A benefits adviser can help you check if you're eligible.

In Scotland, people who receive Carer's Allowance will automatically get an additional payment called Carer's Allowance Supplement.

Find out more about Scotland's Carer's Allowance Supplement at

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

Find out more about Carer’s Allowance, including how it might affect other benefits, at Carers UK

Apply for Carer's Allowance online

The UK government website also has details of two other benefits you might be able to claim - Universal Credit and Pension Credit:

Read about Universal Credit at

Read about Pension Credit at

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

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 about local support and grants 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 from the government.

Read more about the Young Carer Grant on the Young Scot website

Further support for carers

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

The booklet Looking after someone, produced by Carers UK has comprehensive information about carers' rights, 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.

Last full review:

We also update when we know about important changes.

Find out how we keep our information up to date