Unpaid carers urged to ‘always’ make important check before claiming Carer’s Allowance

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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It is a taxable benefit forming part of a person’s taxable income.

Carer’s Allowance is paid at a standard rate of £67.60 for the person making the claim.

To qualify, people must be over the age of 16 and not in full-time education.

They cannot be subject to immigration control that would stop them from getting benefits and they must also earn more than £128 a week from employment or self-employment after deductions such as income tax, National Insurance and half of their pension contributions.

Another crucial requirement is that they must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person.

The person they’re caring for must be receiving at least one qualifying benefit such as Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment or the Armed Forces Independence Payment.

People usually have to be in Great Britain when they claim.

However, there are exceptions for members and family members of the Armed Forces

People might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if they and the person they are caring for moves to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

This also applies if they are already living in one of these countries.

Importantly, if a person is caring for someone who receives a benefit with a Severe Disability Premium or Addition and said person wishes to receive Carer’s Allowance themselves, it is not possible.

This would, essentially, nullify the Premium or Addition.

This means that a carer is not eligible for an allowance as long as the person they are caring for is getting a Severe Disability Premium or Addition.

In this case, carers are advised to contact the Government department responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policies, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to let them know if they are receiving Carer’s Allowance.

The person being cared for might receive a Severe Disability Premium or Addition as part of income-based JSA, income-related ESA, Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support or Pension Credit.

It’s vital for people to check with the person they’re caring for before they apply for Carer’s Allowance.

People can make a claim by using the Carer’s Allowance service.

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In addition, if a person cares for someone for at least twenty hours a week, they may be eligible to receive Carer’s Credits.

These are credits that fill in National Insurance record gaps.

It is not possible to receive Carer’s Allowance if a person receives benefits such as state retirement pension, contributory ESA, contribution-based JSA or Maternity Allowance.

If a person’s Carer’s Allowance is either the same as or less than the other benefit, they will receive the other benefit instead of the Carer’s Allowance.

If the other benefit is less than their allowance, they will get the other benefit in addition to their Carer’s Allowance.

People can make a claim by using the Carer’s Allowance service.

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