How to Become a Registered Carer
If you’ve been a carer for a family member or friend for some time, you may be thinking about becoming a registered carer.
There are a number of reasons why becoming a registered carer could be a good move for you, including:
- You could be caring for someone informally at the moment, but not able to carry on unless you are paid for your duties
- You know some locally who needs a carer, and you could help them if you were paid
- You are currently working for an agency and want to become self-employed
- You want to start a carer agency of your own
Whatever the reasons you want to become a registered carer, there are a number of things you need to think about in order to do this.
Register with your GP
If you are an unpaid carer, there are many benefits to registering as a carer with your GP practice. This applies even if you are in receipt of Carers Allowance.
Benefits of registering as a carer with your doctor include:
- Making practice staff aware of your role as a carer
- Providing more convenient appointment times
- Access to designated ‘Carers Champion’ that many GP practices have
- Access to useful information and support as a carer
- You will receive free annual health checks and flu vaccinations
2. Register for Carers Allowance
If you currently informally care for someone without getting paid, you may still be eligible for Carers Allowance.
You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you:
– Care for someone at least 35 hours/week
– Are aged 16 or over
– Are no longer in full-time education or studying for more than 21 hours/week
– Earn less than £116/week after taxes, care costs, and 50% of what you pay into your pension.
We’ve written a total guide to carers allowance and your benefits, so have a read of it and see what you need to do in order to register for carers allowance.
To become a self-employed carer:
If you want to register as a self-employed carer, you will need to meet a few more requirements. These include:
While there is no legal requirement to have certain qualifications as a carer, you may still want to get certain certifications as a self-employed carer to show your clients that you can provide the proper care they need.
There are many diplomas and NVQs you can take, or you might choose to focus on gaining more direct experience as a carer before moving into a self-employed caring role.
2. Set up your business
To become a registered self-employed carer, you will need to think about the business side of things as well as your day-to-day work. This includes:
- Registering as a self-employed with HMRC
- Completing your Self-Assessment tax return
- Creating a business plan to think about how many clients you would like to take on, income, expenses etc
When you are a self-employed carer, it is a good idea to consider what you will do if something goes wrong while working – whether that’s incurring an injury yourself or the person you care for getting hurt.
Having an insurance policy to protect you in these circumstances is important, covering you for things such as:
- Public liability i.e. protecting you if someone is injured because of your business
- Employers’ liability insurance (if you employ staff)
- Accidental loss or damage to your personal belongings
- Personal accident
Take a look at our self-employed carers insurance page for more information.