Carer’s Allowance is a benefit payment which is available to people who care for someone at least 35 hours a week and are entitled to certain benefits. This type of care usually includes everyday tasks, including cooking and cleaning, taking care of bills and attending important appointments. As well as the set 35-hour week spent caring for someone, claimants must be either 16 or over, been in the UK for at least three years, not in full-time education and have earnings of £128 or less a week after tax. Currently, claimants of Carer’s Allowance receive £67.50 a week by the DWP, which is paid either weekly in advance or every four weeks.
What has changed to Carer’s Allowance?
At the beginning of the pandemic, the DWP introduced changes to the requirements for Carer’s Allowance recipients.
This included a relaxation of the rules regarding how emotional assistance could be provided, opening it up to being offered over the phone, by email and by text message.
However in the wake of social distancing measures being lifted, the Government body has announced that these easements have now ended as of August 31, 2021.
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Specifically, the DWP implemented two easements for Carer’s Allowance claimants to “help unpaid carers through the current emergency”.
One of these was carers were able to continue to get the benefit payment even if they had a temporary break in caring for someone.
This would apply if the claimant or the person they cared for got Covid or if they had to self-isolate.
On top of this, the other easement was that providing emotional support to a disabled person would go towards the Carer’s Allowance weekly 35 hours of care threshold.
As of the end of August, these easements no longer apply and could affect the amount claimants receive if they remain unaware of these changes.
Are you eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
Claimants do not need to be related to, or live with, the person who they care for, but they do not get paid extra if they care for more than one person.
In order to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, the person the claimant is caring for must already be receiving some form of benefit payment.
This can include the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance; among many more.
If someone else is helping to take care of the person in need of help, only one is eligible to claim for Carer’s Allowance.
Those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 can still receive the benefit payment if they provide care remotely.
Those thinking of applying for Carer’s Allowance should know that they will not be awarded any payment if they receive the full amount of the state pension.
Furthermore, if someone’s state pension is more than £67.60 a week, they will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment but their Pension Credit may go up.
Despite this, those not eligible for Carer’s Allowance may instead be entitled to Carer’s Credit.
How to apply for Carer’s Allowance
Anyone interested in applying for this benefit payment can do so via the Gov.co.uk website or contact their local Jobcentre.
During the application process, claimants will need to provide their National Insurance number, bank information, employment history and details of expenses.
All initial claims made by applications are backdated by up to three months by the DWP.