Support for PAs who are also unpaid carers

You may be working as a Personal Assistant and also support someone else in your life, unpaid – like a family member or friend. This article explains what support is available to you if you are an unpaid carer.


How do I know if I am an unpaid carer?

You’re probably a carer if all of the following apply:

  • you do things like helping someone to wash, dress and eat, take them to appointments, do their shopping or keep them company
  • you aren’t paid to look after the person you’re caring for
  • you spend a lot of time caring for the person – there’s no legal definition of this, but it could mean anything from a few hours a day, to 24/7
  • you may or may not live with the person you’re caring for.

If you are under 18, or over 18 but still in school, you will be classed as a ‘young carer’.

What kind of support can I get as an unpaid carer?

There may be lots of support available to you, including:

  • Financial support including Carer’s Allowance, help with energy costs and council tax
  • Support in work
  • Support to get a break from your caring role


Where can I get support as an unpaid carer?

There are local Carers’ Centres across Scotland who can provide you with information, advice and support to help you with your caring role. Visit the link at the bottom of this page to find your local Carers’ Centre.


Next steps

Take a look at the Scottish Government’s ‘Carers’ Charter’ resource below to guide you in more detail.

Part of
Last Updated
26 January 2024
First Published
13 May 2022
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.