Thousands of Britons missing out on DWP benefit worth £3,600 a year plus Christmas bonus

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As the cost of living crisis continues and bills rise, any extra cash could be vital for families on low incomes. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can award eligible carers an additional £69.70 a week.

This is equal to £278 a month, or over £3,000 a year.

The Government will also provide a Christmas bonus to those claiming Carer’s Allowance. As a one-off payment, recipients will receive £10 – the bonus will also not affect any other benefits.

However, the DWP is yet to confirm the exact date when the payment will be made, but it generally lands in people’s bank accounts in the first week of December.

Charity Carers UK has stated that one out of every eight people acts as a carer for somebody else.

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This means that approximately 6.5 million people are unable to commit to working as many hours as they would like and have a lower income as a result.

To qualify for Carer’s Allowance, the claimant must be at least 16 years of age and spend a minimum of 35 hours a week caring for someone.

Furthermore, the claimant must also live in England, Scotland, or Wales and have earnings of £132 a week or less, after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

Despite this, Carer’s Allowance is not dependent on National Insurance contributions and is therefore not means-tested, which means it is not based on a claimant’s personal income or savings.

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If people believe they are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, then they should complete the application form at GOV.UK.

Approximately half a million people are missing out on the benefit.

However, before they do so, they should ensure they have their:

  • National Insurance number (if they have a partner they’ll need theirs too)
  • Bank or building society details (unless they get their state pension)
  • Employment details and latest payslip if they’re working
  • P45 if they’ve recently finished work
  • Course details if they’re studying
  • Details of any expenses, for example, pension contributions or the cost of caring for their children or the disabled person while they’re at work

Claimants can opt to be paid weekly in advance or every four weeks, with the funds paid into a bank or building society account.

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However, receiving Carer’s Allowance can impact a person’s entitlement to other Government benefits.

For the person claiming the benefit, their benefit payments will usually either go up.

Those on Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit must contact HMRC to inform them of their Carer’s Allowance claim.

People on Pension Credit will usually see their payments increase if they’re eligible for the allowance.

If a person delays claiming their state pension, their pension payments could increase if they claim the allowance.

Claimants cannot build up extra state pension during any time they are claiming Carer’s Allowance.

Additionally, carers are eligible for other benefits that could provide major financial savings throughout the year. 

Discounts for Carers is free for carers to register and provides savings on phone and broadband bills, food and clothes shopping, and travel and holidays.

Extra benefits that carers could be eligible for include:

  • Carers could get Universal Credit payments from the DWP
  • They may also be able to get help with housing payments if they are entitled to Universal Credit
  • Some Universal Credit claimants also get help towards their council tax bills
  • Check schemes like WaterSure for up to 50 percent off water bills
  • People who aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance might get the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit
  • Discounts on shopping and bills at discountforcarers.com
  • A cashback card for carers at discountforcarers.com
  • Days out – The National Trust give free entry to carers or companions of disabled visitors
  • The Cinema Ex



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