Unpaid carers may be eligible for £69.70 a week – how to claim

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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This could make a huge difference to cash strapped families who are struggling with the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills. Around 400,000 Britons could be claiming this benefit and unpaid carers are urged to check their eligibility.

Unpaid carers could receive up to £302 a month through Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance can provide financial help for people who take care of themselves, or take care of others and the care they provide meets a certain criteria.

The rates increased by 3.1 percent on April 11 so eligible claimants recently just received a cash boost.

To be eligible, the person being cared for must already be receiving certain benefits.

These include:

  • Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance – 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 – the middle or highest care rate
  • Adult Disability Payment – daily living component

Britons cannot get Carer’s Allowance if they share the care of someone and the other carer is already claiming:

  • Carer’s Allowance for that person
  • The ‘caring for a severely disabled person’ extra amount of Universal Credit for that person

If someone wants to receive Carer’s Allowance, they should speak to the other carer about changing their benefits.

If the other carer does not want to do that, the applicant can still apply for Carer’s Allowance. The DWP will decide who should receive the benefit.

People who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week could claim Carer’s Allowance which could be worth up to £3,624 a year.

Nearly half a million people are missing out on this vital financial support because they don’t know they are eligible.

Campaigners say there has never been a more important time to conduct a benefits check as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.

People who help someone with everyday tasks or getting around the home are being encouraged to check whether they are eligible for Carer’s Allowance.

Caring for someone can include everyday tasks such as:

  • 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

Applicants must also be earning £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

If earnings are sometimes more than £132 a week, people might still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Their average earnings may be calculated to work out if they’re eligible.

How to Claim
Britons can apply online using the form on gov.uk, or apply by post.

Before people apply, they need to have their:

  • National Insurance number (if they have a partner they’ll need theirs too)
  • Bank or building society details (unless they get their State Pension)
  • Employment details and latest payslip if they’re working
  • P45 if they’ve recently finished work
  • Course details if they’re studying
  • Details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for their children or the disabled person while they’re at work

People also need details of the person you care for. They need their:

  • Date of birth and address
  • National Insurance number if they’re 16 or over
  • Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16

People can backdate their claim by up to three months.

People who successfully claim Carer’s Allowance might also qualify for:

  • Local council support
  • Council Tax Reduction
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Grants and bursaries
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance Supplement

When someone claims Carer’s Allowance, their other benefit payments may change, but their total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.

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

If their pension is £69.70 a week or more, they will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.

If their pension is less than £69.70 a week, they’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

If their State Pension is more than £69.70 a week, they will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment but their Pension Credit payments will increase instead.

Britons can use the benefits calculator on the Government website to work out how their other benefits will be affected.

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