There are certain welfare benefits that are given to individuals that care for someone else. These benefits act as financial aid to support the carer through the responsibilities and costs that come with looking after another person.
This article will look at the benefits that you can claim if you look after a person full-time. We'll also look at how much you can claim and where you can apply for the benefits.
You can get certain financial benefits if you offer care for someone else due to their illness or disability. It's possible to claim Carer's Allowance even if the person you care for isn't a family member or doesn't live with you.
Carer's Allowance is a taxable benefit and will form part of your taxable income. Most people who claim this benefit have to be based in Great Britain, although there are some exceptions for members of the Armed Forces or their families.
The allowance can be paid to you weekly or once a month. It is up to you how frequently you want to receive the money and which bank account you want it to be paid into.
Carers that look after someone for 35 or more hours a week are entitled to £67.60 a week. You won't get paid anymore for additional people that you look after. In addition, this amount can only be paid to one person, even if there are multiple people caring for the same individual.
You will have to pay tax on this allowance if your income exceeds the personal allowance of £12,570 per year.
You are eligible to receive the Carer's Allowance if you look after someone for 35 hours a week or more. The person you care for must also be claiming a qualifying benefit. These benefits are listed below:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Disability Payment
People claiming Constant Attendance Allowance must be receiving the normal maximum rate alongside Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. They could also be receiving the basic rate of Constant Attendance Allowance with the War Disablement Pension.
The care you offer could include washing and cleaning, helping with the cooking or doing grocery shopping on behalf of the person.
You must be aged 16 or over to get Carer's Allowance and have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years. Great Britain must also be your main residence unless you or the person you care for is in the Armed Forces.
You cannot claim the benefit if you are in full-time education or study for 21 or more hours each week. Your earnings must also be £128 or under each week (after tax and National Insurance). However, there are some instances in which you can be earning over £128 and still be eligible for the allowance. You can use the government's benefits calculator to see if you are allowed to get Carer's Allowance.
People who are receiving a state pension that is over £67.60 a week will not be eligible for Carer's Allowance, although their Pension Credit payments will increase.
Even though you may not be eligible to receive Carer's Allowance, you may be able to get Carer's Credit. This is a National Insurance credit that will help fill any gaps you might have in your National Insurance record. This record impacts how much state pension you will be paid. You can get Carer's Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours each week.
Claiming Carer's Allowance can be done via the government website. This type of support allowance can only be distributed after you have provided suitable evidence. There are certain documents that you will need with you as you complete the application form. This includes your National Insurance number and your bank or building society details.
Other personal or financial information that you will need to supply includes the latest payslip you have, your employment details or a P45 if you have recently finished work. You should also send your course details if you are a student.
The government will also want to see your expenses, including the cost of caring for the individual(s), any childcare costs or your pension contributions.
You will have to submit the date of birth and the address of the person you are caring for, along with their National Insurance number if they are over 16 years old. If they are younger than 16 years old, you will need to send their Disability Living Allowance reference instead.
You can be paid Carer's Allowance for the previous three months if you backdate it with the requested evidence. Contact the Carer's Allowance Unit if you have trouble applying for the allowance or have any other queries.
Carer's Allowance does not count towards the benefit cap. Your Pension Credit will also increase if you start claiming the allowance. You can find out exactly how Carer's Allowance will affect your benefits by using the government's benefits calculator.
The person that you are caring for might find that their benefits can be affected by Carer's Allowance too. For example, the person you are helping to look after will no longer get paid a severe disability premium with their benefits. They will also stop getting an extra amount for their severe disability paid with Pension Credit. The individual's council tax may also have to start paying the full Council Tax, rather than the reduced price.
You may be eligible for the Carer's Allowance if you look after another person due to their illness or disability. The person you care for doesn't have to be a family member or live with you in order for you to claim for the benefit. However, they must already be claiming for a specified benefit and be over the age of 16 years old.
To qualify for the benefit, you must care for the person for at least 35 hours each week. If you work less than this, you may be eligible to apply for Carer's Credit, although you must look after the person for a minimum of 20 hours to qualify.
Carer's Allowance is £67.60 per week, although you can get paid in monthly instalments too.