Published 23rd May 2024 by

Calls for Carer’s Allowance to be completely overhauled are growing louder, as more and more is coming to light about unpaid carers being chased for repayments by the Department for Work and Pensions.

And you can join Carers Matter Norfolk, Carers UK, Carers Trust, and others in calling for the outdated and inadequate approach to the benefit to be changed. With a General Election on the way, there may be more opportunities for you to make sure candidates recognise the importance of change, and unpaid carers having the support they need.

Unpaid carers, many of whom didn’t know they were being over-paid, have found themselves being chased to pay back money by the Department for Work and Pensions.

Carer’s Allowance is just £81.90 each week, but unpaid carers lose entitlement to the benefit if their weekly earnings go above a £151 limit – even going £1 over the limit means a carer is not eligible. The Department for Work and Pensions has alerts telling them over-payment has happened, but over-payments have built up as they’ve not told unpaid carers quickly enough when this has happened. This has meant more than 11,000 carers are paying back sums of over £5,000.

Vicky Jones, programme director of Carers Matter Norfolk, said, “The situation thousands of unpaid carers face with Carer’s Allowance is unacceptable. Carers face enough financial pressures and demands without this additional stress and financial pressure.

“The criteria for Carer’s Allowance is unduly onerous and the amount is very low. The Department for Work and Pensions should not be chasing unpaid carers in the way they are when they themselves have not acted quickly enough on their own information.”

With campaigning getting underway for the July General Election, you may be contacted by candidates in your area, or by members of their team. You can take these opportunities to let them your views about Carers Allowance, and on how the needs of unpaid carers should be recognised and addressed.

You can also join the calls for Carer’s Allowance to be urgently reviewed and changed by signing the petition at