This section covers things you might want to think about in relation to money matters. For information about benefits click here.
Make sure that all important papers are in order and that you know where to find them. Some people choose to plan ahead for their future, by creating a power of attorney or writing a will. Many people find this empowering and reassuring.
A joint account can be useful if the person you care for has difficulty getting to the bank or needs help with organising bills and payments. However, you might want to consider the following:
- Most joint bank accounts are set up so that both parties are able to manage the account. If one person is unable to manage the account, the bank may freeze it until someone who has the legal power to act for them (e.g. an attorney) is registered with the bank.
- When paying for care, it is advisable to separate finances. This means that the joint account is split into two and two individual accounts are made (one for each account holder). This means that the amount belonging to the person going into care, and the amount that belongs to the other party, are both clear. Separating a joint account ensures that the partner’s assets are not touched.
These can be useful when you have property or savings. It ensures that your assets are managed in a way that you choose, both now and in the future.
Trusts can be used in financial planning to provide for those who are vulnerable. A trust is created when a person (the settler) places money or assets into the hands of trustees to hold for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustees are legally bound to administer the assets in the trust in line with its terms and conditions.
Advance decisions and statements
An advance statement gives you the chance to indicate your wishes and views for the future. These could include where you wish to live or the type of care and support you wish to receive etc. An advance decision is about refusing certain treatment.
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a new car, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. You may be eligible to join the Motability Scheme if you get certain disability benefits.
The Blue Badge Scheme
Provides a range of parking benefits for disabled people who have difficulty walking. For example, you can park for free in pay-and-display bays and also on double and single yellow lines.
Find out more www.gov.uk
Car Tax Exemption
You are exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax, or road tax) if you’re getting certain disability benefits. If you’re on the Motability Scheme you don’t need to do anything. If you own your car you have to apply for the exemption.
Find out more:
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Concessions & Discounts for Carers
National Express sells a Disabled Coach Card that gives a third off their standard fares.
If the person you care for needs significant assistance throughout a journey – help in boarding, moving around and getting off a vehicle – then they may be able to apply for a Companion Card. However, they will must already have a Concessionary Travel Pass.
A Companion Card allows a person to take someone with them free of charge when they travel on buses in Tyne and Wear, County Durham, Northumberland and Darlington. The card is available to residents of Tyne and Wear who receive certain allowances and need a companion to make all, or some, journeys. The companion must accompany them for the entire journey. If they have a Metro Gold Card, the Companion Card will be valid on the Metro too.
If the person you care for has difficulty using public transport they can carry a Bridge Card. When staff are shown the card they will recognise that extra help is needed during the journey. The card does give entitlement to a concessionary or discount fare. Cards can be obtained from Nexus Travel Shops.
Online offers and useful websites
CarerSmart offers benefits and discounts exclusively to carers and people with care needs. Joining is easy and free. Once you’re a member, you can benefit from a wide range of offers including:
- Cash back on shopping from numerous high street retailers.
- Best rates from energy providers.
- Reductions on insurance renewals.
- Discounts on holidays and travel arrangements.
- Reduced price lifestyle activities.
- Free legal advice services.
The UK’s biggest consumer website. Money Saving Expert offers cheap deals, saving cash and campaigning for financial justice.
A site for free classifieds ads in the UK. You can buy anything from iPhones, cars and flats on Gumtree.
An entirely non-profit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It is all about re-use and keeping good stuff out of landfills. At Freecycle, each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free.
Carers in North Tyneside are entitled to an Ease card from North Tyneside Council. This gives you access to leisure facilities across North Tyneside.
You can visit:
- Hadrian Leisure Centre: St Peters Road, Wallsend, NE28 7LQ
- The Parks Sports Centre: Howdon Road, North Shields, NE29 6TL
- Tynemouth Pool: Beach Road, North Shields, NE29 9PX
- Waves: The Links, Whitley Bay, NE26 1TQ
- The Lakeside Centre: Southgate, Killingworth, NE12 6S
Speak to your worker to find out more.