Enjoy a stable income
Shared Lives carers are self-employed which is why you will receive a fee, rather than being paid a wage or a salary.
The weekly fee for supporting someone who lives with you can be between £350-£650 per person. This fee is for the care and support you provide. You will also receive payments for rent and contributions to general living costs and household expenses.
Fees for short break carers are either set on a weekly or nightly basis, depending on the arrangement. And if you offer day support, where someone visits you, you’ll receive a fee for a block of time – usually four hours in a day.
Who pays my fees?
Your local Shared Lives scheme (funded by the local council or NHS) will pay the support fees, this is based on their social care assessment of what support and care the person needs. The person you support will contribute towards accommodation and living costs from their housing benefits and other benefits.
What is it like being self-employed?
Flexibility! You’re providing support from your own home and creating a way of life that suits you and the person you support.
Since you’re not employed by either your local Shared Lives scheme, or by the person you support, you can build a more relaxed relationship which feels more like family.
You will need to register as self-employed with HMRC. This can be done online, and you’ll have time to register after you’ve been approved.
The Shared Lives tax break
A special form of tax relief, Qualifying Care Relief, is available to people who provide Shared Lives care.
With Qualifying Care Relief, if your Shared Lives income in a tax year is less than the qualifying amount, you don’t have to make any Class 4 National Insurance contributions or pay any Income Tax on your Shared Lives income.
What is the qualifying amount?
- A fixed amount for each household of up to £18,140 a year; and
- £450.00 per person per week (for up to three people)
Example 1 – full financial year:
Susan is a Shared Lives carer for Tony and Mike. Her Shared Lives income for the financial year is £33,800.
Since Tony and Mike have lived with her for the full financial year, Susan’s qualifying amount would be:
Fixed amount: £18,140 + weekly amount: £46,800 (£450 x 2 x 52) = qualifying amount: £69,940
Since Susan’s Shared Lives income (£33,800) is less than her qualifying amount (£69,940), she would not have to make any NIC Class 4 contributions, or pay any tax on her Shared Lives income.
Example 2 – partial financial year:
If Tony and Mike had only been living with Susan for 6 months her Shared Lives income for the year would be £16,900 and the figures for Qualifying Care Relief would look like this:
Fixed amount: £9,070 (50% of the full fixed amount) + weekly amount: £23,400 (£450 x 2 x 26) = qualifying amount: £32,470
Susan’s Shared Lives income (£16,900) is still less than her qualifying amount (£32,470), so she would still not have to make any NIC Class 4 contributions, or to pay any tax on her Shared Lives income.