Carer’s Allowance is rising next year but unpaid carers in part of UK get less than other

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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Unpaid carers who claim the support will receive an extra £2.10 every week, totalling over £100 more from 2022 to 2023. The 3.1 percent increase was confirmed by the Government last month, but what other changes could affect one’s claim to this bonus?

At the current rate, unpaid carers who meet all of the criteria earn £67.60 per week for their work which will increase to £69.70 in April 2022. 

Carers claiming this allowance are usually unable to find paid work due to their unpaid care responsibilities, hence why they receive the benefit.

The unpaid carers must be providing care at least 35 hours per week, assisting with a variety of tasks and are allowed to have earnings of up to £128 per week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

In order to be eligible for the allowance and the upcoming increase, one must be caring for an individual that claims certain benefits themselves.

This includes:

  • Personal Independence Payments
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance from a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment 
  • Child Disability Payment

However, Carers UK estimates that unpaid carers save the economy an average of £132billion per year.

This equates to roughly £19,336 worth of savings for each carer, despite them only earning £3,515 per year through Carer’s Allowance.

While the increase will see this raised to £3,624 it is still a far cry from what the Government is saving through these unpaid carers.

The Scottish Government appears to have coined onto this disparity, and establishing their strength as a continuously devolving power, have decided to replace Carer’s Allowance. 

By May 2026, Scottish carers will be able to claim Scottish Carer’s Assistance from Social Security Scotland instead of Carer’s Allowance from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

The new benefit was due to be rolled out sooner but had to be delayed because of the pandemic. 

However it seems that this has offered the Scottish Government ample opportunity to communicate the needs and possibilities for the benefit with those directly affected by it. 

Scottish carers are already £690 better off than their UK counterparts before the new benefit has even been implemented.

This was due to an additional £230 supplement in June 2021 and a double payment of £462 in December 2021. 

The Scottish Government has also stated that to ensure a smooth rollout, and prevent any income interruption for the unpaid carers, the eligibility criteria for Scottish Carer’s Assistance will be the same as Carer’s Allowance in the early stages of take-up. 

So far 11 social security benefits have been delivered with seven entirely new schemes being created and six more still due to be introduced. 

The most notable benefits rolled out within the last year have been:

  • Scottish Child Payment
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance – the eligibility of which was extended this year
  • Job Start Payment
  • Child Disability Payment – replacement of the Child Disability Living Allowance issued by the DWP

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