Carer’s allowance warning: Claimants may be taken to court – everything you need to know
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Carer’s allowance can provide people with up to £67.60 per week if they care for someone for at least 35 hours a week. The person being cared for will also need to be receiving certain benefits such as PIP or attendance allowance.
To be eligible for carer’s allowance, a person must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone and this can include helping with cooking and managing household tasks.
Claimants will also:
- Need to be aged 16 or over
- Need to have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years
- Need to normally be living in England, Scotland or Wales when claiming
- Need to not be in full-time education, studying for 21 hours or more a week or be subject to immigration control
- Have earnings that are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses
Claims for carer’s allowance can be made online or through the post.
Before claiming, applicants will need to have the following ready:
- Their National Insurance number (if they have a partner they’ll need theirs too)
- Bank or building society details
- 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 children
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On top of this, details for the person being cared for will be needed.
So long as a claimant is eligible, they will either be paid weekly or every four weeks.
When receiving the payments, claimants must report certain changes in circumstances to the Government.
This can include starting a job, starting or ending full-time education or changes to immigration statuses.
This is important to note as claimants could be taken to court or have to pay a penalty if they give incorrect or out of date information.
It should also be remembered carer’s allowance can affect other benefits both the claimant and person being cared for receive.
When a person claims carer’s allowance, the person they care for will stop getting a severe disability premium paid with their benefits.
Additionally, they’ll also stop getting an extra amount for severe disability paid with pension credit, if they get one.
The DWP noted when a person claims carer’s allowance their other benefit payment may change, but the total amount awarded will usually either go up or stay the same.
Carer’s allowance also does not count towards the benefit cap.
For those who get working or child tax credit, HMRC must be contacted to tell them about their carer’s allowance claim.
Free-to-use benefit calculators can also be found online which can break down how carer’s allowance will impact payouts.
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