Carer’s allowance claimants may get a Christmas bonus this month – eligibility explained

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Carer’s allowance can provide eligible claimants with up to £67.25 per week if they care for someone for at least 35 hours a week. Additionally, the person being cared for must also be getting their own state benefits which help with their condition such as PIP, disability living allowance or attendance allowance.

In the coming weeks carer’s allowance claimants, along with a number of other benefit receivers, may get a one-off tax-free payment of £10 before Christmas Day.

This bonus is awarded to those who are present or “ordinarily resident” in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, any European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland during the qualifying week, which usually begins and ends in the first full week of December.

The Christmas bonus won’t affect any other benefits the recipient may be claiming and so long as they’re eligible, the payment should be made automatically.

The additional payment should arrive in the same account the person receives their regular benefits, with the government detailing it may show up as “DWP XB” on their bank statement.

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Where a person doesn’t receive a Christmas bonus but feels they should be entitled to one, they should contact either their Jobcentre Plus office or pension centre.

If the recipient is part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or living together as if they are and both are getting a qualifying benefit, they’ll each get a Christmas bonus payment.

To qualify for carer’s allowance initially, the care a person provides must hit the length of time threshold and involve some of the following examples:

  • Helping with washing and cooking
  • Taking the person being cared for to doctor’s appointments
  • Helping with household tasks like managing bills and shopping

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Additionally, the claimant’s earnings must not exceed £128 a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

According to the government, expenses can include:

  • 50 percent of pension contributions
  • equipment needed to do the job, for example specialist clothing
  • travel costs between different workplaces that are not paid for by an employer, for example fuel or train fares
  • business costs if they’re self-employed, for example a computer only used for work

Carer’s allowance can have an impact on other benefits being claimed, both for the recipient and the person being cared for.

When carer’s allowance is claimed, the person being cared for will stop getting a severe disability premium paid with their benefits and an extra amount for severe disability paid with pension credit, if they get one.

Additionally, they may also stop getting reduced council tax bills and local councils will need to be contacted for this.

Claimants of carer’s allowance will likely see their other benefit payments change if they’re receiving them but the total amount received will likely wither go up or remain the same.

Claims for carer’s allowance will usually not count towards the benefit cap.

To make an initial claim, applicants will need to have certain information at hand including their National Insurance number, banking details, employment paperwork and details on any expenses or costs being paid.

Of course, information on the person being cared for will also be needed.

Claims can be backdated by up to three months and they can be made online or through the post.

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