Rewards and benefits of Shared Lives

Being a Shared Lives carer is the ultimate ‘working from home’ opportunity. You get to make a difference and benefit from:

two people laughing, while enjoying a warm drink

Being a Shared Lives carer is the ultimate ‘working from home’ opportunity. You get to make a difference and benefit from:

  • a steady income – receive a regular fee for each person you support 
  • breaks and time off – build your own schedule
  • generous tax breaks – keep more of the money that you earn
  • training and support – you support them, we’ll support you

Enjoy a stable income

Shared Lives carers are self-employed. This is why you will receive a fee, rather than a wage or salary. 

The weekly fee for supporting someone who lives with you long term can be between £330 and £750 per person. The fee is for the care and support you provide. 

Fees for short breaks are set on a weekly or nightly basis, depending on the arrangement. 

Fees for short term breaks and long term placements

Band Short term breaks fee (per week) Long term placements fee (per week)
Band 1 £279.31 £365.69
Band 2 £340.97 £426.03
Band 3 £416.53 £502.78
Band 4 £462.14 £549.23
Band 5 £732.67 £819.04

What is it like being self-employed?

Flexible! 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 the Shared Lives scheme or the person you support, you can build a relaxed relationship. One that feels more like family. But with the full support from a dedicated Shared Lives social worker. 

You will need to register as self-employed with HMRC. You can do this online, and you’ll have time to register after your approval. HMRC have designated staff who can offer advice for people who are self-employed.

The Shared Lives tax break

A special form of tax relief is available to people who provide Shared Lives care.

Provided your earnings are less than the qualifying amount, you don’t have to make any National Insurance contributions or 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; plus
•    £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

Susan’s Shared Lives income (£33,800) is less than her qualifying amount (£69,940). She does not have to make any NIC, 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 tax 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). She would still not have to make any NIC, or to pay any tax on her Shared Lives income.

Support for carers

a group of people sat in a chair circle, talking

We'll support you to make a difference. We make sure that you're fully prepared and supported to become a Shared Lives carer.


All Shared Lives carers complete mandatory training before they start caring. 

We will continue to support you to develop your professional skills. You'll get training tailored to the type of support you provide and the person you care for.

Individual support

As a Wakefield Council Shared Lives carer, you're part of a much bigger team. You'll have your own Shared Lives worker allocated to you, who will be there to support you. They will also visit to check everything is okay and to offer help and guidance.

The Shared Lives team is always on hand to offer support and advice during office hours. You can also get support from the council’s Social Care Direct team the rest of the time.

Local groups

We encourage Shared Lives carers to meet up with each other on a regular basis. We also hold regular carer meetings and events, where carers in a local area can meet. These can be a major source of strength. Giving carers the chance to celebrate their successes and support each other.

Shared Lives Plus

Shared Lives carers can sign up for membership with Shared Lives Plus. It is a community of over 6,000 carers. You can chat to other carers online from across the UK. It is a source for advice, the latest news, shopping discounts and other support. Please note there is a registration fee associated with this.

Ready to join our team?

Get in touch if you want to speak to a member of our team, or even talk to one of our carers. It is a great opportunity to talk to someone about their experiences of being a Shared Lives carer. 

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