The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that 400,000 could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance but don’t claim. Carers are some of the worst hit by the ongoing cost of living crisis because they are often unable to work full time.
However those who may be eligible are urged to claim as the extra cash could be vital for those on low incomes struggling to keep up.
The latest survey of carers in Britain conducted on behalf of Carers UK revealed that nearly two thirds (64 percent) of carers are cutting back on heating and a third (33 percent) have already fallen into arrears.
What’s more, over half (55 percent) are worried that increasing energy bills will mean they have to cut back on food.
Successful claimants could get £69.70 a week from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
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This could mean £278.80 every four weeks which could be a lifeline amid the cost of living crisis.
Carer’s Allowance is a social security benefit given to people who care for someone for at least 35 hours per week.
People could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance if they are working, as long as they don’t earn more than £132 a week.
People do not have to be related to, or live with, the person they care for.
The person they’re caring for will also need to be receiving certain benefits.
If someone else also cares for the same person as they do, only one of them can claim Carer’s Allowance.
For each week someone get Carer’s Allowance they’ll automatically get National Insurance credits.
Helen Walker, the chief executive of Carers UK, said the pandemic and cost of living crisis is making matters much worse for carers.
She said: “As the cost of living crisis piles on the stress and pressure to household finances across the UK, the below inflation increases to Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit are yet another blow for hard pressed carers.
“Many carers have a reduced capacity to work because of their caring responsibilities or have had to give up work altogether.
“Despite the majority of carers having taken on more care during the pandemic, which has protected our health and care systems, they face a real terms cut in the level of financial support they receive.
“Carers do not deserve more hardship when they have done so much.”
Britons are reminded that Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both the person and the person you care for get.
When claiming 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
Britons can use the benefits calculator on the Government website to work out how their other benefits will be affected.
To find out whether they could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, Britons can go to Gov.uk.