Money Benefits
The information here contains details about the following benefits, which are likely to be of interest to Carers:-

Attendance Allowance
Carers Allowance
Disability Living Allowance (which contains a care & mobility component)  
Severe Disability Allowance
Council Tax Benefit

If you have a problem or enquiry about Income Support, which replaced supplementary benefit in April 1988 or Housing Benefit, also known as Rent and Rate Rebates, then contact one of the organisations mentioned at the end.

Disability Living Allowance

Is payable to people under 65.  This claim form also includes a section to claim Mobility Allowance.  Disability Living Allowance provides three rates of help with care needs and two rates for mobility �getting around� needs.
:

From April 2018 Care needs:-

Higher rate –
�58.80
Middle rate –
�39.35
Lowest rate –
�15.55

Care needs may mean help with normal bodily functions such as eating, going to the toilet, washing, ensuring medicine is taken regularly/correctly, or ensuring safety, watching over somebody. In addition help with seeing and hearing for social activities.

From April 2006 Mobility needs:-

 Higher rate  –
�41.05
  Lower rate  –
�15.55

Mobility needs may mean that the disabled person cannot walk, or has difficulty in walking.  It is intended for outdoor mobility and can be used in any way the person likes, e.g. hiring taxis etc.

To qualify the person must have become unable or virtually unable to walk because of physical disablement and a claim must be made before they reach the age of 65.  The allowance can be paid for life as long as the qualifying conditions continue to be satisfied.

Disability Living Allowance Customer Services Line. Tel: 0345 123456

Attendance Allowance

Is a benefit payable to people over 65.  To get an application form ring 0800 882200

This claim form does not include a section for mobility, although it covers care needs comprehensively.  There are 2 rates.

From April 2006:-

Higher rate  –
�60.60
Lower rate  –
�40.55
Carers Allowance  – Formerly Invalid Care Allowance

This is for people who look after someone who is receiving higher or lower Attendance Allowance or higher or middle rate Care Component of the Disability Living allowance and spends at least 35 hours a week caring for that person.  Carers Allowance is taxable.  A Carer can earn �75 per week after deductions (there are some conditions that apply on this.  Please telephone for further advice).

Anyone between the age of 16 � 65 can claim and the person they are caring for does not have to be a relative.

There are quite a number of regulations to do with this allowance, so contact the D.S.S or The Medway Carers Centre.
If you want to know more or to get a copy of leaflet DS700.

The weekly Allowance is �45.70
PLEASE NOTE CLAIMING CARERS ALLOWANCE CAN AFFECT YOUR PENSION, PLEASE TAKE ADVICE BEFORE MAKING AN APPLICATION!! 
The Severe Disability Premium is:

From April 2006:-
Single Person / Lone Parent –
�44.80
Couple (One Qualifies) –
�44.80
Couple (Both Qualify) –
�89.60
Benefits Agency, Crown House, The Brook, Chatham, Kent.  Tel:01634 810200Welfare Benefits Unit, Chatham Help Centre, Riverside 1, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent.   Tel:01634 331857

Benefit enquiry line for people with disabilities � Tel: 0800 882200 (free-phone) or see

Council Tax Benefit

Housing Benefit Reception, Civic Centre, Strood

Housing Benefit reception, Municipal Buildings, Gillingham,
Medway Council local office
17-19 Military Road, Chatham 

You can telephone the Council on  (01634) 306000 and ask for any of these departments.

D.I.A.L Kent are available for advice and information at the Medway Carers Centre on Fridays 11:30am – 15:00pm.  Please ring to make an appointment.
The information given above is a guide supplied by Welfare Benefits Agency, and was up to date at the original time of publishing.  Please use only as a guide always check information with the relevant agency. 

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Self Assessment
It would assist the Medway Carers Centre greatly, if you would fill in this self-assessment form and return it to the Princess Royal Trust Medway Carers Centre, 3 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent.  ME7 5TP.
 If you would like to download an Self Assessment Form, fill it in and return it to us please click here.  All information supplied is strictly confidential.
You will only be entered into the database if you request it.

 

 

Support Groups for Family Carers
The following groups offer Carers the chance to share experiences and concerns with other Carers in similar situations, to gain information on specific topics. 
AD(H)D Support Group

Support Group run by parents of AD(H)D Children.Tel: 01634 880932
Email: info@adhd-add.org
Web: www.adhd-add.org
Carers Support Scheme

Operates in Medway and Swale, offering support to Carers of people aged 65 and over with Dementia.  Information, regular newsletter and fortnightly coffee mornings.

The Training Room
Old School House
North Pondside Road
Historic Dockyard,
Chatham,
Kent.
ME4 4TY
Tel: 01634 840866

Relatives and Residents Association

The Relatives Association offers a listening ear and practical advice.  They offer the chance to join a local group, and receive a regular newsletter.

5 Tavistock Place,
London.
WC1H 9SN
Tel: 0207 916 6055

Kent Autistic Trust

Telephone support and information, help with statutory and voluntary agencies promotes awareness.  

14 High Street,
Brompton,
Gillingham,
Kent.
ME7 5AE
Tel: 01634 405168

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Alzheimer’s Disease Society Support Group

To provide support to people who care or who have cared for someone with dementia.Weekly meetings. Fridays 10:15am � 1:45pm
at Marlborough House,
Rainham High Street
Rainham, Kent.

David Royal
7 Water Meadow Close
Hempstead
Kent
ME7 3QF
Tel: 01634 377254
Email: droyle7@aol.com

Princess Royal Trust – Medway Carers Centre

Open regular office hours.  Offers help and support for all family carers in a caring role.  Regular coffee mornings, newsletter, social functions.  Listening ear, practical help and information.
E-mail Medwaycarers@aol.com  www.medwaycarerscentre.org.uk

3 Canterbury Street
Gillingham,
Kent.
ME7 3TP
Tel: 01634 577340

Darland House Carers Group
Meeting every two months.  Contact the secretary for further information.

 

Secretary, Mrs. Alma Attwood,
Darland House,
29 Darland Avenue,
Gillingham,
Kent.
Tel: 01634 852323

Prostate Cancer Help and Support

For men with prostate cancer, wives, partners and families, people who are concerned and for those who want to know more, by providing support and information to all those affected by Prostate Cancer.

Telephone Helpline: 0845 6010766  –  Local Helpline: 01732 841192

Kitten Contacts

For Parent Carers of disabled children – Phone 01634 400638 Monday to Friday 9-5

 

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Taking a Break
It is important that everybody takes a break from the demands of caring, whether it be for the odd hour in a day, the odd day each week or month, or maybe even for a holiday.  Being a family carer also means that you need to care for yourself, taking time out and giving yourself the opportunity to relax, meet friends, or perhaps tackle some jobs, that you cannot normally do.

A break also makes it possible for you to carry on caring, otherwise ill health or exhaustion may mean that in time you simply will not be able to continue.  There can also be real benefits for the person you are caring for, such as social contact, new friends and new interests and activities.

There are also breaks available for those who wish to go as a couple or family with the cared for person.  We realise that some people would wish to do this.

The following information will hopefully provide you with some ideas on how to get a break, and also where to go to get help.  Your social services department may be able to help you, however, the demand on these services is high and you may not be able to get help immediately.

Day Care Centres

These are run by local authorities and voluntary organisations, providing an opportunity for adults to meet and take part in organised activities such as craftwork, games etc. Meals and transport are usually provided, and attendance at such a Centre by the cared for, gives the Carer  some time to themselves.  Centres in the Medway area include The Walter Brice Centre, Tel: 01634 253611, (an open referral system exists) or Robert Browning Day Hospital, Tel:01634 833812 (assessment of needs, and support and advice to the carer is also offered).

Cross Roads

Crossroads can help with regular planned care, or an occasional break.  Trained and reliable Care Attendants work through the day, evening, and in exceptional circumstances at night.  Crossroads is a registered charity, and the service is free, however donations are greatly appreciated.  The Care attendants offer practical support to �family carers� supporting them to care for a dependant living at home. For your local office and telephone number, see under Health Provision Section.

Winged Fellowship Trust

The Trust provides a flexible range of holiday choices for people with disabilities.  These range from short breaks to week-long stays, and age interests or budget is not a barrier.

For further details:-
Winged Fellowship Trust
Angel House,
20 – 32 Pentonville Road,
London.
N1 9XD

There are many respite homes advertised on the internet, and staff at the Centre would be happy to provide any information about homes who currently advertise on the internet.  The Centre also has a large collection of brochures and information on respite care throughout the country.

The Princess Royal Trust

The Princess Royal Trust, along with other charitable organisations, can offer assistance in gaining grants.  Please contact the Manager at your Princess  Royal Trust, Medway Carers Centre for details.  Contact Information.

The Kiloran Trust

The  Kiloran Trust is a registered charity and has been established to provide residential supportive breaks to all those caring for others, who feel the need for a break away.  Carers can apply to Kiloran directly themselves, or through a Carer Centre, Social Worker or health organisation.
For further details telephone 0207 602 7404.

Carers Relief Service

Charity providing care assistants to look after adults with learning disabilities in order to give the carer a break.

Room 222
Main Office Block
Crest Complex
Courtney Road
Gillingham
Kent ME8 0RX
Tel: 01634 302654

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Transport
The following information gives details of Transport services, which may be of particular interest to Carers and the people for whom they are caring.

Blue Badge Parking Scheme

The Blue Badge parking scheme, (which replaced the old orange badge scheme), enables a car to be parked where other vehicles are restricted for a maximum of two hours, is available for disabled people who are either car drivers or passengers.  You are entitled to a badge if:-

You receive higher rate mobility allowance or,
You are blind or
You use a vehicle supplied by a Government Department or
You get a grant towards your own vehicle.

You may also be entitled to an Blue Badge if you have a permanent and substantial disability which makes walking very difficult.  You will need a letter supporting this from your Doctor.  Anyone over the age of Two, satisfying these conditions can get a badge.

Information for the Blue Badge Parking Scheme are held at the Centre.

Application can also be made from Access and Information, Social Services Department,
Municipal Buildings, Gillingham, Kent.   Tel: 01634 334466

Bus Permit

People who have a disability may also be entitled to a bus pass.  there are certain criteria to be met, and application should be made direct to the bus company.

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Medway Mobility,

Medway Council,
Planning & Transport,
Compass Centre,
Chatham Maritime,
Chatham,
Kent.
ME4 4YH

Medway Mobility and Medway Mobility Plus are operated by A.S.D. Coaches for Medway Council, and is a service for Elderly and Disabled People, who cannot use ordinary buses.  Applications to be signed by Doctor/Care Manager. It is also necessary to register with the service.  For further information call ASD on 01634 726412.

Tripscope

The Courtyard
Evelyn Road
London
W4 5JL
Tel: 08457 58 56 41 (local call rate)

Triscope is the National Information Service to help and support with transport difficulties in this country and abroad.

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Mobility Advice and Vehicle Information Service

TRRL
Crowthorne
Berkshire
RG11 6AU
Tel: 01344 770456

Information about car adaptations.  There is a charge for assessments. Vokes Taxis

3 Old Road
Chatham
Kent
Tel: 01634 222222

Taxi Service that is able to take a wheelchair user sitting in the wheelchair.  Notification necessary on booking.

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Voluntary Organisations
Arthritis Care (Chatham & District)

Tel: 01634 718938

Monthly meetings and general improvement for the social life of its members.

Kent Autistic Trust

Kay Benning (General Manager)
14 High Street,
Brompton,
Gillingham,
Kent.
ME7 5AE
Tel: 01634 405168  Fax: 01634 811282

To provide residential and day services, family
support and training.

Aspergers Support Group

01474 355897
01474 560936 (Debbie)
01474 362634 (Janet)

The Compassionate Friends
Support and friendship for bereaved parents and their families

 

Irene Baldock
The Compassionate Friends
15 Dean Road
Strood, Rochester
Kent
ME2 3QH
Tel: 01634 718299

Email: irenebaldock@deanroad.fsnet.co.uk   Alzheimers Disease Society

Gordon House,
10 Greencoat Place,
London.
SW1P 1PH
Tel: 0171 306 0606

Helpline  Mon – Fri 8:30am � 6:30pm  Tel: 0845 300 0336
E-mail: enquiries@alzheimers.org.uk
Website: www.alzheimers.org.uk 

ADHD (Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder))

Mark Thompson (Chairperson)
AD(H)D Support Group
63 Green Street,
Gillingham,
Kent.
ME7 1AE
Tel: 01634 880932
info@adhd-add.org
Web: www.adhd-add.org
To raise awareness, give advice and information.

 

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Age Concern
(The Chief Officer – Chatham)
Riverside
Chatham
Kent
ME4 4SL
Tel: 01634 811938Age Concern
(The Chief Officer – Gillingham)
The Mackenny Day Centre
Woodlands Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 2BX
Tel: 01634 572616Age Concern
(The Chief Officer – Strood)
The Chris Ellis Centre
130 Brompton Lane
Strood
Kent
ME2 3BA
Tel: 01634 724828

Kent Information Federation (Disabled and Carers)

Cygnet House
132 Windmill Street
Gravesend
Kent
DA12 1BQ
Tel; 01474 534777
Email: admin@cix.compulink.co.uk

Free independent and confidential information service to disabled people, their Carers and those acting for them.

Osteoporosis Society, National (Medway Support Group)

Gwen Worcester
01634 833892

Aims to provide support for sufferers of osteoporosis.  To create awareness osteoporosis and prevention.  To keep our members informed of the advances in prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

The group meets every 3rd Tuesday of every month at St. Stephen’s Church hall, Maidstone Road, Chatham.  7.00pm – 9.00pm

Parkinson’s Disease Society (Medway Towns)

Mr Guy Sibley – Secretary
Tel: 01634 234209

To provide adequate welfare service for suffers and Carers.

Remap

Grove Cottage
Kingsdown Road
Dungate
Kent
ME9 0QU
Tel: 01795 830225

Unique Charity designing and manufacturing technical aids for disabled people

Stepping Stones

46 Green Street
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 1XA
Tel: 01634 300022

To promote the care, welfare and advancement of children with special needs.

 

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Portage Co-Ordinator

Compass Centre
Chatham
Kent
Tel: 01634 881194

Parents group meeting fortnightly for informal chat and to meet other parents of children with special needs.

Talking Books

Most libraries offer a talking book service.  Check your local Library for details.

Moat Care and Repair

4 Ambley Green
Baily Drive
Gillingham Business Park
Kent
ME8 0NJ
Tel: 01634 283217/8

Help to the elderly/disabled to apply for grants for essential home repairs.  Providing small job repairs to the elderly and disabled.
This is not an emergency service

BODY POSITIVE KENT LTD

Quaker Meeting House
Northgate
Rochester
Kent.
ME1 1LS
Tel: 01634 819071
Fax: 01634 828588

E-mail bpkent@netlink.co.uk
Web: http://www2.netlink.co.uk/users2/bpkent

Support, advice and advocacy for those living with HIV/AID�s in Kent.

 

Hands Volunteer Centre – Rochester

5a New Road Avenue
Chatham
Kent
ME4 6BG
Tel: 01634 830371
Email: rochestervb@carefree.net

Hands Volunteer Bureau – Gillingham

Sunlight Centre
Richmond Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 1LX
Tel: 01634 338655 – Hands
Tel: 01634 338653 – Volunteer Bureau
Tel: 01634 338652 – Community Friendship
Email: gillinghamb@hotmail.com
Web: www.handsandgillinghamvb.ik.com

 

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Shelter, Kent (North) Housing Aid

2 Ordnance Street
Chatham
Kent
ME4 6SL
Tel: 01634 811166 (Helpline)
Fax: 01634 813729
Email: medway@shelter.org.uk
Web: www.shelter.org.uk

Phone the helpline number above between 10 – 1 Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri and 2 – 4.30 on Thursdays. Free, confidential and independent advice and advocacy on homelessness, rent and Mortgage arrears, disputes, harassment, eviction and other housing problems.

British Red Cross Society

Kent Branch
25 College Road
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6SX
Tel: 01622 690011

The Red Cross offer equipment hire, transport and escort and caring for people in their own home.  For further details, contact the Red Cross in Maidstone, and they will give you the number of the branch nearest to you.

 

Merge

Medway Residents Group
1 Canterbury Street
Gillingham
Kent
Tel: 01634 570037
Fax: 01634 570037
Email: merge@medway.gov.uk

Advocate on behalf of all council tenants regarding housing, policies and other environmental issues.

Twydall Family Centre

32 – 34 Thornham Road
Twydall
Gillingham
Kent
ME8 6SG
Tel: 01634 374133

A new venture being developed in association with a range of partners to offer family support services to parents and Carers of children of all ages in the Twydall neighbourhood.  Drop in 9.30 � 12.30 Tuesdays Parent and Toddler group Thursdays 9.30 �11.30

 

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Balfour Resource Centre

Pattens Lane
Rochester
Kent
MW1 2RB
Tel: 01634 845 940
jackie.welch@medway.gov.uk

To meet most of the needs of the physically handicapped.

Disabled Persons Accommodation Agency

Peter Stokes
5A New Road Avenue
Chatham
ME4 6BG
Tel: 01634 819922
Fax: 01634 818906

Established to help disabled people find accessible housing.

 

Fibromyalgia Support Group

16 Barberry Avenue
Davis Estate
Chatham
Kent
ME5 9TE
Tel: 01634 865925
Email: margaret@robson78.fsnet.co.uk
Web: www.firomyalgia-associtationuk.org
Web: www.ukfibromyalgia.com

Support to people suffering from Fibromyalgia.

Disability Information Service

Disability Services Centre
Medway Maritime Hospital
Windmill Road
Gillingham
Kent
ME7 5NY
Tel: 01634 830000 Ext: 3343

 

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Crossroads – Gillingham and Chatham

Lennox Wood Old People’s Home
Petham Green
Twydall
Gillingham
Kent
Tel: 01634 379131

 

To provide trained care attendants, allowing the carer time for themselves, either by going out, or resting.

Crossroads – Rochester

The Day Centre
Shaws Wood
Mill Road
Strood
Kent
ME2 3BU
Tel: 01634 716238

To provide trained care attendants, allowing the carer time for themselves, either by going out, or resting.

Cerebral Palsy Care

The Bradbury Centre
View Road
Cliffe Woods
Rochester
kent
ME3 8UJ
Tel: 01634 220120

Challenging Behaviour Foundation

C/o Friends Meeting House
Northgate
Rochester
Kent
ME1 1LS
Tel: 01634 838739

Citizens Advice Bureau

The White House
Riverside
Chatham
Kent
ME4 5SL
Tel: 0870 1264095

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Guildhall
17 High Street
Rochester
Kent
ME1 1PY
Tel: 08701264095

D.I.A.L. NORTH WEST KENT

Ground Floor Tel: 01474 537666

Cygnet House Fax: 01474 532550

132 Windmill Street

Gravesend

Kent DA12 1BQ email: info@dialnwk.org.uk

Free, confidential and reliable advice on all aspects of disability, including housing, equipment, motoring, leisure, welfare benefits

Advice line open 11am � 3pm, Monday to Friday (24 hour answerphone)

Minicom service available � use voice announcer

DISABILITY LAW SERVICE

39-45 Cavall Street Tel: 020 7 791 9800

London Minicom: 020 7 791 7801

E1 2BP Fax: 020 7 791 7802

Specialist legal advice for disabled people and their Carers.

 

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Who is a Carer?
A family carer is anyone who spends regular and substantial time looking after or being responsible for someone who is too ill or too disabled to manage alone.

Very often people do not recognise themselves as �family carers�; they are wives, husbands, sons, daughters, parents, other relatives, friends and neighbours who find themselves in a caring situation, sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually, and simply get on with what needs to be done.

A family carer does not always live with the person being cared for, but their help may be essential to enable somebody to go on living in their own home.

It can be a help to know you are a family carer; it is a way of recognising that you are doing a very important job, which can be demanding physically and emotionally.  It may be a help to know your work is recognised by others and there are some benefits and services available to help you in your role.

For many people, caring for somebody is a very rewarding experience, but even in the best circumstances, a family carer can become very tired and frustrated; a family carer may become isolated and resentful because nobody seems to understand or offer help; and where the caring task is very difficult, a family carer can resent their restricted life and then feel very guilty at having such angry feelings.

Over 6 million people in Britain today are in this caring situation, there are approximately 21,000 family carers in the Medway Towns, and the feelings described are experienced by many of them at some time or another.  In the following pages, you will find information about what help is available and how you can meet with other family carers to share your experiences.

Perhaps you are somebody who is not yet a family carer, but think you may become one soon, due to the increasing age or disability of somebody close to you.  It is a good idea to think carefully before you move in with somebody else, or they move in with you.

Caring can go on for many years, often without much outside assistance.  The person you care for may resist any help from outside and you may have an increasingly heavy workload.

Will your own health stand up to the extra workload?  Remembering that you will also get older.  It is wise to talk with others such as your family; the Doctor and Social Services before you make such a major decision.