Carer’s Allowance is an important payment for many people who look after others. It is available to individuals who spend at least 35 hours each week providing care to someone who has a disability or health condition.
However, there are particular rules when it comes to how Carer’s Allowance is administered, and also the way it interacts with the state pension.
The DWP has now issued fresh guidance on the matter to provide more clarity to those looking for answers.
Its new ‘easy-read’ guide states individuals do not have to be related to, or live with the person they are caring for to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.
The person being cared for, however, must be in receipt of specific benefits due to their condition.
However, if the pension is less than £69.70 a week, they will get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.
If a person’s state pension is more than Carer’s Allowance, it might still be worth making a claim.
Some people may get what is known as an “underlying entitlement” to Carer’s Allowance.
This means the DWP acknowledges a person meets the criteria for Carer’s Allowance but cannot be paid the sum.
Carers UK notes this claim could be “financially beneficial” for those who take this action.
Its website states: “It can increase any means-tested benefits you are currently getting, or it could mean that you become entitled to means-tested benefits for the first time (depending on your and any partner’s income and capital).
“This is because having the ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance means that an amount called the Carer Addition will be included when working out whether you are entitled to means-tested benefits.”
Those who delay claiming a state pension could increase their payments when they decide to get it.
However, individuals cannot build up extra state pension during any period they get Carer’s Allowance.
For those who are confused about their eligibility, there are numerous benefits calculators available.
These independent tools can help people find out:
- What benefits they could get
- How to claim them
- How benefits will be affected for those who start work
Individuals will need to provide key information such as savings, income, existing benefits and pensions, as well as outgoings.