As part of Carers Rights Day on 24th November 2022, Richmond Carers Centre invited Sandra Keen, Welfare Benefits Adviser at Richmond AID to run a workshop to provide information to carers on Carer’s Allowance & Carers’ Credit entitlement conditions as well as how carers can apply, report changes of circumstances and signpost to other Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits and services.
Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours per week caring for a severely disabled person. You don’t have to be related to or live with a disabled person to receive Carer’s Allowance for providing care to them. You can receive benefits and also need care yourself and still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. You can be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, even if you have never worked, it is not dependent on you having made National Insurance Contributions (NIC).
Do you qualify?
To qualify for Carer’s Allowance the person you care for must receive one of these ‘qualifying benefits’:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) Care Component (at the middle or highest rate only)
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Daily Living Component (at either rate)
- Attendance Allowance (at either rate)
- Constant Attendance Allowance (with additional criteria)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- You must be aged 16 or over, there is no upper age limit
- You must not be in full time education or studying for 21 hours per week or more
- You’ve been in the UK for at least 2 out of the last 3 years and are not subject to immigration control (residence and presence)
- Your earnings, after Tax, National Insurance and expenses, are less than £132 per week
How much will you get?
Carer’s Allowance is £69.70 per week for 2022/2023. Whilst you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance you will automatically get National Insurance Credits (sometimes called Carer’s Credit)
Being entitled to Carer’s Allowance can give you access to additional benefits, money or support, including;:
- Additional support for you from your local Council (Carer’s Assessment)
- Council Tax reduction
- Universal Credit (additional element)
- Pension Credit (additional amount)
- Grants and bursaries –to help pay for courses and training
- You will not be subject to the Benefit Cap
You may be entitled to two or more benefits but cannot be paid both of them in full, THEY OVERLAP.
State retirement pension
Contribution based jobseeker’s allowance
Contribution based employment and support allowance
Widowed mother’s/parent’s allowance
Severe disablement allowance
Where someone is entitled to more than one of the above benefits the following rules apply:
- A contributory benefit is paid in preference to a non-contributory benefit. This is topped up by any balance of the non-contributory benefit that may remain.
- The highest rate of benefit is paid, if two of them are the same amount only one is paid.
In addition you cannot receive carer’s allowance at the same time as receiving a limited capability for work related activity (LCWRA) element in your universal credit
Impact of carer’s allowance
If you are eligible for and receive carer’s allowance, what you receive will be counted as income and will be deducted from your entitlement of the following means tested benefits;
- Income-related employment and support allowance (esa)
- Income support
- Council tax support
- Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
- Housing benefit
- Pension credit
- Universal credit
Also note that if the person you are caring for receives severe disability premium (sdp), this will stop if you claim carer’s allowance for them. So always check before making A claim for carer’s allowance
If you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance alongside these benefits you may also receive an additional element, paid on top of the benefit. This with be either Carer’s Premium or Carer’s Element or Carer’s Addition. Carer’s Premium for 2022/2023 is an additional £38.85 per week and will be paid on top of one of the following benefits;
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income Support
- Council Tax Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Housing Benefit
Carer’s Addition and Carer’s Element
Carer’s Addition for 2022/2023 is an additional £38.85 per week and will be paid on top of one of any entitlement to pension credit
Carer’s Element for 2022/2023 is an additional £168.81 per month and will be paid as part of your Universal Credit Award
N.B. You do not need to make a claim for Carer’s Allowance or to be receiving Carer’s Allowance payments to receive Carer’s Element. As long as you are providing 35 hours care for a person receiving a ‘qualifying benefit’ you can receive a Carer’s Element. However, it is important to remember you cannot receive a Carer’s Element and a Limited Capability for the Work Related Activity (LCWRA) element in your Universal Credit (UC) award, although there are some concessions if you have a joint claim.
How to claim Carer’s Allowance
The quickest way to apply for carer’s allowance is online at carer’s allowance: make a claim – GOV.UK (www.Gov.Uk)
You can also apply by post. Complete a Carers Allowance claim form (DS700). You can either print the form and fill in with a pen or fill in on screen and then print. Forms can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/carers-allowance-claim-form. Here you will also find guidance on how to complete the form, what evidence you may need to provide and where to send the completed form.
Help and further advice
Help and further advice
If you do not feel able to complete a claim for Carer’s Allowance without support, have any questions or would like further advice you can contact a local friendly charity, like Richmond Aid (Tel: 020 8831 6080). N.B. You must live in Richmond or Hounslow boroughs to access this service.
You can visit Turn2us. Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. It is also worth visiting the entitledto website. The entitledto Benefits calculator will check which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to.
You can look on the Government’s website for information on eligibility and how to apply for benefits.
For any questions or advice about benefits or other services for disabled people and carers please feel free to contact