Welfare support

Resources:  Carers Rights

Support to make a claim to welfare benefits and access to other financial schemes

The Council’s Welfare Support Team can assist carers to maximise their income to alleviate the ongoing financial pressures facing households.

The team will undertake a full financial assessment with clients to identify eligibility for welfare benefits and other forms of financial support.  Support is also available in completing the necessary claim forms and applications.

The Welfare Support Team can be contacted by phone (free of charge from landlines and mobile phones): 0800 090 1004 or email: Welfare.Support@highland.gov.uk 

Carer's Allowance

Carers could get £69.70 a week if they care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

The carer does not have to be related to, or live with, the person they care for.

Full details of Carer's Allowance is available on the GOV.UK website here:  https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

Cheaper broadband and phone packages for those in receipt of certain benefits

Social tariffs are cheaper broadband and phone packages for people claiming Universal Credit, Pension Credit and some other benefits. Some providers call them ‘essential’ or ‘basic’ broadband.

They’re delivered in the same way as normal packages, just at a lower price. Amid rising living costs, Ofcom is encouraging companies to offer social tariffs to help customers on low incomes.

Each company has its own list of eligible benefits, but full details are available here:  https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/social-tariffs

Council Tax discounts, disregards and exemptions

Severely Mentally Impaired:  A person may be able to get a discount if they, or someone who lives with them, have been classed as severely mentally impaired by a medical professional. 

If a person is severely mentally impaired, they are not included ("disregarded") as occupiers for the purposes of calculating Council Tax.

To qualify, the person's doctor must certify the impairment.

More information and details of how to apply are available here:  https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/701/council_tax/541/council_tax_-_discounts_for_people/3

Disabled Band Reduction:  You may be entitled to a reduction on your Council Tax if someone who is resident in your home, including yourself, has a substantial and permanent disability and other criteria is satisfied.  This scheme applies if you live in a larger property than you would need if you or another occupant were not disabled.

If you qualify, your bill will be reduced to the next lowest Council Tax band. For example, if your property is in Band D, you’ll pay the Band C rate.

Applications can be made here:  https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/6364/disablement_band_reduction

Admission to hospital, residential care home or nursing homes:  Patients in hospital, care or nursing homes are not included (“disregarded”) as occupiers of a household for the purposes of calculating Council Tax, which can lower the total amount of Council Tax payable.

More information and details of applying for this discount are available here:  https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/701/council_tax/541/council_tax_-_discounts_for_people/4

Council Tax Reduction:  Carers who are on a low income due to their caring responsibilities may be eligible for financial support through the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Further support for carers

A carer is a person of any age who provides physical care or emotional support to another person, due to frailty, physical or mental illness, addiction, or disability and is not paid for providing that care or support.

Connecting Carers (external link) (part of Highland Community Care Forum) provides:

  • Information and signposting
  • Carer Support Plans
  • Drop in groups
  • Carers Network Bulletin
  • Carer training

Highland Carers Advocacy (external link) listens to carers and helps them express their own feelings and thoughts when decisions are being made.

Check eligibility and apply for Carer's Allowance (external link)

Plus One Scheme

As a carer, you may be eligible for a Plus One Card.

The Plus One Scheme has been developed to help make access to leisure and recreational services easier for disabled customers. The scheme provides a free pass to the person who is supporting a disabled customer (the 'plus one') to attend any participating venues or events.

Find out more here:  https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/1350/care_and_carers/429/support_for_carers

Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme

The Scottish Government has awarded funding to help Highland Council deliver energy efficiency programmes in the Highlands as part of the Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme (EES:ABS).

The area based programmes aim to:

  • Target fuel-poor areas
  • Offer insulation measures (Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation)
  • Heat your property through an Air Source Heat Pump
  • Offer solar PV and battery storage

Funding is available from the Scottish Government for the installation of measures.

  • Scottish Government Energy Efficient Scotland: Area Based Scheme (EES:ABS) grant – is based on property eligibility criteria

Air Source Heat Pump, Cavity Wall, Loft Insulation, Solar PV and Battery Storage

These measures are eligible for:

  • Scottish Government EES:ABS grant

An owner's contribution may be required to cover the remainder of the cost for installation.


Keeping you safe is important and we appreciate your continued patience. Regular communication will be issued to those who are in the process of receiving energy efficiency measures delivered under the scheme.

Please note there may be a delay dealing with your enquiry. If you have a question relating to the EES:ABS programme, please contact EES-ABS@highland.gov.uk.

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