Carer’s allowance warning: Claims may impact other benefit payments – rules explained

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Carer’s allowance could provide claimants with up to £67.60 per week if they care for someone for a minimum of 35 hours a week. The person being cared for must also be receiving certain benefits such as PIP, attendance allowance or disability living allowance.

Unlike many other state benefits, carer’s allowance payments will not have much of an impact on other benefits the claimant may be receiving.

The Government details that when a person claims carer’s allowance, their other benefit payments may change, but their total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.

Additionally, carer’s allowance does not count towards the benefit cap.

However, carer’s allowance may have a more substantial impact on those who are receiving care.

When a person claims carer’s allowance, the person they’re caring for will stop getting:

  • A severe disability premium paid with their benefits
  • An extra amount for severe disability paid with pension credit, if they get one

On top of this, they may also stop getting reduced council tax bills if they were receiving support through their local authority.

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In order to be eligible for carer’s allowance, a claimant must provide 35 hours of care for someone and this can include helping with washing and cooking, taking the person they care for to a doctor’s appointment and helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping.

Additionally, all of the following must apply:

  • The claimant must be 16 or over
  • They’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years
  • They normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
  • They’re not in full-time education
  • They’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • They’re not subject to immigration control
  • Their earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

Initial claims for carer’s allowance can be made online or through the post.

When claiming, applicants will need to have certain details ready for both themselves and the person they’re caring for.

This can include National Insurance numbers, bank details and date of births.

Should a claimant disagree with a decision about their claim, they can challenge it under mandatory reconsideration rules.

While a person is claiming the support, they must report any changes in their circumstances to the Government.

This could include starting a job, seeing changes to income or ending full-time education.

This should be noted carefully as a claimant could be taken to court or be forced to pay a penalty if they give inaccurate information.

Full details on carer’s allowance and other state benefits can be found on the Government’s website.

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