Carers could get an extra £169 monthly from DWP outside of Carer’s Allowance

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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The £169 top-up would be on top of their Carer’s Allowance payments available through the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit. Due to unpaid carers being an economically disadvantaged group, a Carer’s Element, the extra boost could be beneficial towards rising bills and the cost of living crisis.

This is separate benefit support from Carer’s Allowance, which is more commonly associated with carers.

Both Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Element payments were hiked by 3.1 percent in line with last year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate.

However, many are concerned the support provided by Carer’s Allowance may not be enough for households.

With inflation sitting at nine percent and the cost of living crisis worsening, any extra cash could be vital for those families feeling the financial squeeze.

If someone qualifies for Universal Credit, they may be able to get an extra amount because of their caring role. This is known as the ‘carer element’.

To apply for this element, claimants must have “regular and substantial caring responsibilities” for a “severely disabled person”, according to the DWP.

The person that is being looked after by an unpaid carer must be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits.

The qualifying benefit payments the person that is being cared for can claim include:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • The highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or Child Disability Payment
  • The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance of £73.20 per week paid with Industrial Injuries Benefit or War Disablement Pension

As it stands, those who are eligible for the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit could get a boost of £168.81 a month.

To claim the Carer’s Element, people must be caring for a severely disabled person for 35 hours a week or more.

When it comes to calculating how much someone gets from the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance is considered a way of someone getting income.

On its website, Carers UK shared how applying for the Universal Credit element often works and warned how the person being looked after by the carer could be affected.

The charity stated: “You must tell the Universal Credit office that you are a carer using your online journal or calling if you are a telephone claimant.

“This is because they will not automatically know this and apply the element, even if you are getting Carer’s Allowance.

“You can inform them of your caring role even if you are yet to claim, or not going to claim Carer’s Allowance.

“One important thing to note is that if the person you are looking after receives a severe disability premium (or addition) within their means-tested legacy benefits, they will lose this if your Universal Credit includes a carer element (regardless of whether or not you are also claiming Carer’s Allowance).”

To qualify for Carer’s Allowance, claimants cannot earn more than £132 a week.

But people can still apply for the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit if they earn more than this amount.

After their income is taken away from the maximum amount of Universal Credit someone is entitled to, the amount left will be the payment they receive from the DWP.

People who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance are able to apply for the Carer’s Element even if they do not claim Carer’s Allowance at all.

Applicants must inform the Universal Credit office that they are an unpaid carer using your online journal or calling if you are a telephone claimant.

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