If you are a carer for another person, you may be entitled to something called Carer's Allowance. We caught up with Head of Policy at Carers Trust, Laura Bennett to find out more.
Who is entitled to Carer's Allowance?
Carers may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if they spend at least 35 hours a week caring for another person. You also need to meet all of the following criteria:
-You’re 16 or over
-You’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
-You normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces (you might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in an EEA country or Switzerland)
-You’re not in full-time education
-You’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
-You’re not subject to immigration control
-Your earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance contribution and expenses
You don’t need to live with the person you care for. See the full list on gov.uk.
Benefits entitlement can be complex, it’s a good idea to get some advice about benefits for yourself and the person you care for before you claim. Carers Trust Network Partners can help with benefits advice, as well as help you find other support you may be able to get as a carer. Find your nearest service here.
How much is Carer's Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is £67.25 a week. Carers in Scotland may receive Carer’s Allowance Supplement twice a year, this year each payment was £230.10.
If you get Carer’s Allowance you may receive other benefits such as NI credits, Universal or Pension Credit, reduced Council Tax, as well as other discounts and bursaries. Find out more here.
Can I claim Carer's Allowance for myself?
Yes, but only one carer can claim it, even if more than one person is in a caring role.
Related: Benefits for over 60s
How do I apply for Carer's Allowance?
The easiest way to claim online is through the government website. Alternatively, if you cannot apply online, you can apply by post. You have the option to fill the form in online or get it printed so you can fill it with a pen.
Before you apply make sure you have your:
-National Insurance number (if you have a partner you’ll need theirs too)
-Bank or building society details (unless you get your State Pension)
-Employment details and latest payslip if you’re working
-P45 if you’ve recently finished work
-Course details if you’re studying
-Details of any expenses, for example, pension contributions or the cost of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work
You also need details of the person you care for. You need their:
-Date of birth and address
-National Insurance number if they’re 16 or over
-Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16
Is carers allowance means-tested?
You must be earning less than £128 a week after tax, NI and expenses in most cases (there are some exceptions).
Does carers allowance affect ESA, PIP or Universal Credit?
Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both you and the person you care for get in some cases, which is why it’s good to get advice. This could include disability premiums and Council Tax.
Can carers allowance be backdated?
Yes, by three months.
Discount for carers
Many organisations offer discount schemes which enable carers to get discounts on everyday items and the likes of holidays.
We would recommend signing up for Discount for Carers offers carers, paid or unpaid, money-saving deals and vouchers.