Thousands of Britons could claim extra support from DWP to help ease cost of living
Nurse: 'Carers get paid less than a paper round'
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As the cost of living crisis continues, and energy bills soar, many families on low incomes may be feeling the financial squeeze. Claiming this extra support could be even more vital for the upcoming months.
Carers save the economy £132billion every year yet when it comes to their personal finances, figures show they are missing out.
Caring for someone often means people can’t work as many hours and therefore take home less money.
Carer’s Allowance is one of the main welfare benefits to help carers in the UK and top up their income. It is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Some 500,000 people are estimated to be missing out on the benefit which could top up their income by £69.70 per week.
By claiming support, carers may be entitled to other help.
They may be eligible for Universal Credit payments and help with housing payments, council tax bills and money off their water bill.
On top of this they are also entitled to many discounts that are available to NHS workers.
These further discounts for carers could help people save more than £2,000 over the course of a year.
Who is eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
Claimants need to be caring for someone for 35 hours or more a week.
A person must not earn more than £132 a week from employment or self-employment, this is after deductions for income tax, National Insurance and for expenses.
Expenses can include:
- 50 percent of their pension contributions
- Equipment needed to do a job, for example specialist clothing
- Travel costs between different workplaces that are not paid for by the employer, for example fuel or train fares
- Business costs if someone is self-employed, for example a computer they only use for work
The Government website states people may be eligible if they, the person they care for and the type of care they provide meets certain criteria.
The person being cared for must already get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the middle or highest care rate or Attendance Allowance.
A full list can be found on the Government website.
Carer’s Allowance could alter a claimant’s entitlement to other state benefits, however total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.
It can affect the other benefits that both someone and the person they care for get.
Carer’s Allowance does not count towards the benefit cap.
When someone claims Carer’s Allowance, the person they care for will usually stop getting:
- A severe disability premium paid with their benefits
- An extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit
If someone gets Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, they must contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to tell them about their Carer’s Allowance claim.
If an individual gets Pension Credit, their payments will increase if they’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
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