As a carer, you have only two statutory rights:

1. You are entitled to a carer's assessment, even if the person you care for does not wish to engage with services.

2. It is a requirement that you are told that you are entitled to a carer's assessment.

Carers Benefits and Entitlements

If you are unsure about what you are entitled to or have questions about benefits if your circumstances change, get help from a local advice service.  Don’t go it alone trying to navigate benefits or entitlements systems or applications if you don’t feel you know enough about them or are even uncertain about where to start.  There are excellent local advice centres across Northern Ireland to help you.  We have put some useful links to services and advice guidance:

Carers NI Advice Line: 028 90 43 98 43

Access information on local advice centres from Advice NI Tel: 028 9064 5919

Carers UK produce and update annually A Guide to Carers’ Rights and Benefits

Quick guide to financial support for carers can also be accessed at

Direct payments for carers are local Trust payments available for anyone who has been assessed as needing help from social services. You can normally get them if you are a carer aged 16 or over.

Direct payments can be used to buy services from an organisation or to employ somebody to provide assistance. As a carer, you can use a direct payment to purchase the services you are assessed as needing to support you in your caring role.  This includes support that may help maintain your health and well-being. 

If you already receive social services: Your local Trust has to offer you the option of direct payments in place of the services you currently receive. Under some circumstances you cannot get direct payments. Your local Trust will be able to tell you about these.

If you're not receiving social services To get direct payments you will need to contact your local Trust to ask them to assess your needs. 

For more information online check:

Welfare Changes Helpline  

The independent Welfare Changes Helpline is available for anyone needing help or advice about any of the changes to the welfare system, including practical tips on how to make your money go further.  The helpline is operated by Advice NI as part of a range of additional services provided by the advice sector (Advice NI and the Law Centre NI). The helpline provides bespoke additional independent expertise and support on a range of welfare reform issues including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Employment & Support Allowance, changes to Housing Benefit and changes to Social Fund.

The helpline is operated by the Welfare Reform Advice Services Consortium (Advice NI, Law Centre NI and Citizens Advice) and is available 9.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday.

Phone: 0808 802 0020 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

Additional independent advisers will also be available across all 11 council areas in Northern Ireland and located in local Advice NI offices to provide face-to-face help to anyone impacted by the changes to the welfare system.  In addition, specialist legal advice is available from the Law Centre and they can arrange access to specialist services when required.

Citizens Advice NI

028 9023 1120

Self Directed Support

Self Directed Support is a way of providing social care support that empowers individuals to have informed choice about how support is provided to them with a focus on working together to achieve individual outcomes.

Self Directed Support enables individuals to choose how their support is provided and gives them as much control as they want over their Personal Budget.

An individual’s personal budget can be:

  1. Taken as a Direct Payment,
  2. A Managed Budget (where the Trust holds the budget, but the individual is in control of how it is spent),
  3. The Trust can arrange a service, or
  4. You can choose a mixture of these options –

For more information please click here