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DWP ‘easy read’ guidance on how Carer’s Allowance can affect State Pension, Council Tax and other benefits

todayMay 3, 2022 4

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If you are one of the million plus people claiming carer’s allowance in the UK then you’ll probably want to know have the weekly £69.70 amount impacts other benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued a new ‘easy-read’ guide to Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance is a payment for people who spend at least 35 hours each week providing regular care to someone who has a disability or medical condition. The guidance on the GOV.UK website, explains how you do not have to be related to, or live with the person you care for to qualify for Carer’s Allowance, however, the person you care for must be receiving certain benefits because of their condition, which in some cases has to be paid at a specific rate.

Carer’s Allowance is now paid at £69.70 each week and you can choose to be paid weekly in advance or every four weeks, giving you £278.80 each payment period. The new guide also explains how to claim the benefit if you are a carer and aren’t already claiming.

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However, there are some things you should be aware of. For instance, Daily Record reports that if you qualify for Carer’s Allowance your other benefit payments may change, but the DWP guidance states that your total benefits will usually go up or stay the same.

When you get Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will usually stop getting:

  • Severe Disability Premium paid with their benefits
  • An extra amount of severe disability paid with Pension Credit

They may also stop getting reduced Council Tax

Claiming Carer’s Allowance with State Pension

You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.

The DWP explains: “If you get State Pension, you can still get Carer’s Allowance if this is less than your State Pension benefits.”

If your pension is £69.70 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment, but your Pension Credit payments will increase instead.

If your pension is less than £69.70 a week, you will get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

If you are not eligible

You might be eligible for Carer’s Credit if you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

You could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.

Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record – your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record.

Find out more about National Insurance credits on GOV.UK, here.

Am I eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets certain criteria.

The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the middle or highest care rate

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Child Disability Payment at the middle or highest care rate

  • Adult Disability Payment at the standard or enhanced care rate of the daily living component

If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.

The type of care you provide

You need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

This can include:

  • helping with washing and cooking

  • taking the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment

  • helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping

Eligibility

Guidance on GOV.UK states that all of the following must apply:

  • You are 16 or over

  • You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone

  • You have been in Scotland for at least two of the last three years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)

  • You are not in full-time education

  • You are not studying for 21 hours a week or more

  • You are not subject to immigration control

  • Your earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

How do I make a claim for Carer’s Allowance?

You can claim online at the GOV.UK website here or phone the Carer’s Allowance Unit for a claim form on 0800 731 0297.

Before you apply make sure you have your:

  • National Insurance number (if you have a partner you’ll need theirs too)

  • Bank or building society details

  • Employment details and latest payslip if you’re working

  • P45 if you’ve recently finished work

  • Course details if you’re studying

  • Details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work

GOV.UK guidance states that you also need details of the person you care for.

You need their:

  • Date of birth and address

  • National Insurance number if they are 16 or over

  • Disability Living Allowance reference if they are under 16

More help and advice about Carer’s Allowance

You can get more help and advice from:

Find out more about claiming Carer’s Allowance on the Gov.uk website here.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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