Universal Credit: Jonathan Reynolds on Labour’s policy
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Carer’s Allowance is awarded to individuals who spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone, however the person they are looking after must already be receiving some support by the Government for them to be eligible. Among the different benefits the person a claimant is caring for must be getting is the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance. To be eligible for this benefit, claimants must be aged 16 or over, been living in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, be earning £128 a week before tax and not be in full-time education.
Through Carer’s Allowance, recipients could get £67.60 a week which is paid either weekly in advance or every four weeks.
For every week a claimant gets the benefit payment, they can also automatically get National Insurance credits.
To be eligible for this benefit, claimants must be aged 16 or over, been living in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years, be earning £128 a week before tax and not be in full-time education.
Through Carer’s Allowance, recipients could get £67.60 a week which is paid either weekly in advance or every 4 weeks.
For every week a claimant gets the benefit payment, they can also automatically get National Insurance Credits.
To boost the amount they receive in support, anyone applying for Carer’s Allowance is encouraged to check their eligibility for other benefits, including Universal Credit, Pension Credit and support from their local council.
For claimants living in Scotland, they may be able to get Carer’s Allowance Supplement which is an extra payment for those who get Carer’s Allowance on a particular date.
It is paid two times a year and currently the rate for the supplement stands at £231.40 per payment.
Applicants for Carer’s Allowance will not receive the full amount payment if they also receive the full amount for the state pension.
If someone’s pension is £67.60 a week or more, they will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment. If it is below this amount, they will take a portion of the benefit to make up the difference.
While claimants will not receive any benefit if their pension is above this threshold, their Pension Credit payments will increase instead.
Furthermore, people who are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance could be entitled to Carer’s Credit.
Receiving the benefit could impact the other benefits that both the claimant and the person they care for get.
The person being cared for will stop getting a severe disability premium paid with their benefits and an extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, if their carer receives Carer’s Allowance.
Claimants will also notice a change to their other benefits, however it will likely either go up or stay the same as Carer’s Allowance does not count towards the benefits cap.
Those receiving Pension Credit will see their payments increase if they are entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
Anyone on Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit must inform HMRC if they have started getting this benefit.
It is vital that claimants report any changes to their circumstances if they are currently receiving or applying for Carer’s Allowance.
Changes in circumstances include starting a job, starting or ending full-time education, changes to income, and stopping being a carer when the person being cared for no longer gets their disability benefit.
Failure to do this may result in claimants having to pay a penalty or be taken to court if they have provided the wrong information.
As well as any changes, claimants must report if the person they are caring for has died or if they have temporarily stopped providing care.
Claimants may have to pay back the money they have received if they have failed to report a change of circumstances, given wrong information or been paid too much.
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