Carer’s Allowance is a government benefit to help you out financially if you care for someone close to you. To receive Carer’s Allowance you will need to meet certain conditions. You must:
• Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is receiving a qualifying disability benefit (see below), but you do not have to live with them or be related to the
• be 16 years old or over, live in England, Scotland or Wales
• Not be in full-time education
• Earn £128 or less, per week, after tax (2020-21). This £128 is ‘earned’ income only. It does not take into account benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments
In addition, the person you care for must receive one of the following benefits:
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
• Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the higher or middle rate care component
• Attendance Allowance
For more information on these benefits refer to the Guide to Disability & Benefits located under the resources section of the IIUK App or refer to the https://www.gov.uk/browse/disabilities/benefits
You may also be eligible if your loved one gets Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA). Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) is a benefit payable to people who are ill or disabled. They must receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and need constant care and attention as a result of their injury or disability.
• https://www.gov.uk/constant-attendance-allowance for more information on eligibility and how to claim Constant care Allowance
• https://www.gov.uk/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefit for more information on eligibility and how to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits
The rate for Carers Allowance for 2020-2021 is £67.25 with a £10 Christmas bonus in December. In Scotland, an additional Carer’s Allowance Supplement is available. This is paid twice a year to eligible Carer’s Allowance recipients (payments are £230.10 in 2020.)
If you care for someone, you can arrange a carer’s assessment to find out if you are eligible for support. Refer to https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/getting-care-... for more information.
What happens to Carer’s Allowance if you are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)?
If you have a temporary break from your caring role during the pandemic because you, or the person you care for, has coronavirus or needs to self-isolate, you can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance. If you provide care remotely during the coronavirus outbreak, including giving emotional support over the phone or online, this counts towards the 35 hours a week eligibility requirement for Carers Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance and Other State Benefits
The ‘overlapping benefits’ rule means that, although you may qualify for two or more earnings-replacements benefits, you normally are unable to receive the full amount for more than one benefit at the same time.
You may not be able to get Carer’s Allowance if you receive one or more of the following benefits:
• State Pension
• Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
• Incapacity Benefit
• Maternity Allowance
• Bereavement or Widow’s Benefits
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Universal Credit – carer element. If you qualify for Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role. This is known as the ‘carer element’. To claim the carer’s element, you must be caring for a severely disabled person for 35 hours a week or more. Refer to https://www.gov.uk/carers-credit for more information.
By claiming Carer’s Allowance, any of these other benefits may be reduced or stopped. But the total amount you get in benefits should not decrease – it will usually increase or at least stay the same.
If you are unable to work because of caring responsibilities, and therefore are unable to make National Insurance payments, Carer’s Credit helps build your entitlement to the basic State Pension by making sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record.
Even if you are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you could still qualify for Carer’s Credit.
Carer’s Allowance and State Pension
You cannot receive the State Pension and Carer’s Allowance in full. But you may be able to claim some Carer’s Allowance if you are on a lower level of State Pension.
• If your State Pension payment is worth more than the Carer’s Allowance i.e. you get more than £67.25 a week in State Pension, you will not be eligible for Carer’s Allowance payments.
• If your State Pension is lower than the Carer’s Allowance – i.e. you get less than £67.25 a week in State Pension – you will be able to claim a portion of the Carer’s Allowance. For example, if your State Pension was £40 a week, you could claim £27.25 in Carer’s Allowance to make up the difference.
However, even if your State Pension payment is more than the Carer’s Allowance, it can be worth making a claim in order to establish your ‘underlying entitlement’ to the benefit. In some cases, this can increase the amount you are entitled to receive for other means-tested benefits. It can also entitle you to additional payments if you receive other benefits, such as a carers addition or carers premium (for Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and other income-based benefits), or the carers element of Universal Credit.
If you are about to get your State Pension or are already receiving it, contact the Carers UK advice line on 0808 808 7777 Mon and Tues, 10am–4pm.
How do I claim Carer’s Allowance
You can apply for Carer’s Allowance online on the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
or by down loading, completing and filling posting a DS700 form or DS700(SP) if you receive state pension. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...
For assistance you can call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800-731-0297 Text-phone: 0800-731-0317. Mon–Fri, between 8.00am–6pm.
For tips on how to fill in the Carer’s Allowance form correctly, check out “Which” handy checklist to guide you through the process:
Other Information about Carer’s Allowance
If you are one of a number of people caring for the same person, only one of you can get Carer’s Allowance.
If you care for more than one person, you can only claim Carer’s Allowance for one of them.
• Claiming Carer’s Allowance may affect the benefits that the person you care for is entitled to. If you get Carer’s Allowance, they will stop receiving a council tax reduction and any extra severe disability payments that are paid with their benefits.
• If you were entitled to Carer’s Allowance before making a claim, you can ask for it to be backdated for up to three months.
• If you have received Carer’s Allowance for at least 22 weeks, you can take up to four weeks’ break from caring and still receive the benefit if you, or if the person you are caring for goes on holiday.
• If you, or the person you are caring for, goes into residential care or hospital, you can still get Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks.
• If your income changes while you are receiving Carer’s Allowance, inform DWP as soon as possible or you may risk collecting overpayments, which will eventually be recovered.
Keeping track of benefits
Sometimes you will need information about benefits that the person you are caring for receives. If there is any doubt, you can help them find out what they are receiving by encouraging them to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
If they lack mental capacity, and have a Power of Attorney (POA) then speak to their attorney about their benefits.
If there is no POA in place, but they would like you to deal with the DWP on their behalf, you can apply for the Role of Appointee refer to https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits This gives you responsibility for making and maintaining any benefit claims on behalf of the person you are caring for.
You can get further information and help using the resources below:
• Carer’s UK: https://www.carersuk.org
• Which : https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care/financing-care/benefits-and-pens...
• Turn2US: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Carer-s-Allowance/What-is-Care...
• Gov.UK: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
• Independent Age: https://www.independentage.org/get-advice/support-care/care-homes
You can also contact a member of the AKSWB Social Welfare Benefits, email [email protected] for further support.