Almost half a million Britons missing out Carer’s Allowance worth £292 each month

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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Almost half a million people could be missing out on up to £300 a month that could be put towards rising bills. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that 400,000 could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance but don’t claim.

Many people don’t claim state benefits because they don’t know the eligibility rules or may believe there is a stigma associated with asking for Government help.

However, charities say there has never been a more important time to check benefits entitlement.

Carer’s Allowance provides £292 a month and could be a lifeline to cash-strapped Britons right now.

Carer’s Allowance can add up to £3,515 a year.

More than 13 million Britons provide unpaid care to someone they know saving the economy £132billion every year, according to Carers UK.

Who is eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

On the Government website, it states that people may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if they, the person they care for and the type of care they provide meets certain criteria.

The person they care for must already be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • 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

Claimants also need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

Care includes tasks such as help with washing and cooking, taking them to doctors appointments and help with households tasks e.g. managing bills and shopping.

Britons must be 16 and over, living in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years.

People can’t be in full time education and their earnings should be £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

While claiming Carer’s Allowance could mean an extra £292 a month, it may affect someone’s other benefits so that they don’t receive this full amount.

The Government website states: “When you claim Carer’s Allowance your other benefit payments may change, but your total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.

“Carer’s Allowance does not count towards the benefit cap.”

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.

Britons who receive Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit need to contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if they decide to claim Carer’s Allowance. Pensioners who rely on Pension Credit should receive higher payments if they’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance, not less.

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

Carers don’t have to be related, or living with the person they are caring for. Unfortunately people won’t get paid extra if they care for more than one person but their claim can be backdated for three months.

To claim for Carer’s Allowance people will need:

  • National Insurance number (couples will need both)
  • Bank or building society details (unless in receipt of state pension)
  • Employment details and latest payslip
  • P45 if recently in work
  • Course details if studying
  • Details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for children or the disabled person while at work
  • Claimants will also need details of the person they care for such as:
  • Date of birth and address
  • National Insurance number if they’re 16 or over
  • Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16

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