One of the main benefits for carers is called Carers Allowance. If you are looking after someone for at least 35 hours per week you may be eligible. You may be able to get £64.60 a week if the following apply:
- You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit;
- You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week;
- You are aged 16 or over;
- You are not in full-time education;
- You don’t earn over £120 a week (after deductions);
- You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.
Carer’s Allowance is not based on you or your partner’s income and capital. However, there is a cap on how much you can earn from work and still be entitled to Carer’s Allowance, this is currently set at £116 per week after deductions. If you need to pay for care to allow you to continue working you can include these costs in your deductions.
The person you are caring for must receive one of the following benefits:
- The middle or the higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
- Either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
- Either rate of Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance of the normal maximum rate paid with the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes;
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
You may also be able to claim other benefits for example Pension Credit or an income related benefit, if you are over 65 and on a low income you may also be able to claim the Carers Premium of Pension Credit.
Some benefits such as a State Pension could prevent you from being eligible for Carers Allowance as these are known as “complimentary” benefits. However, it is important to still apply, even if you think this is the case, as other benefits may be increased as a result of your caring role or it may help you receive other grants and you will need to demonstrate you are entitled to claim Carers Allowance.
If you are thinking of reducing your hours or stopping work and would be reliant on Carers Allowance, you will probably want to talk things through with an advisor before making a decision. Carers Allowance may also affect the benefits the person you care for receives, always check this before claiming.
To apply for Carers Allowance you can either apply online on www.gov.uk or you can request a claim pack by phone on 0800 731 029
Carers Matter Norfolk can help you apply and they can be contacted on 0800 083 1148, you can also chat to an online advisor or text 07537 417 850.
CarersUK have made a fact sheet available to carers available to download here.