DWP’s easy-read guide to how carer’s allowance can affect state pension, council tax and benefits


If you’re one of the more than one million people claiming Carer’s Allowance in the UK, you’ll probably want to know if the weekly £69.70 has any impact on other benefits. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has released a new ‘easy to read’ guide to Childcare Allowance.

Care allowance is a payment for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care for someone who is disabled or has a medical condition. The advice on GOV.UK website, explains how you do not have to be related to or live with the person you are caring for to qualify for child care allowance, however, the person you are caring for must receive certain benefits due to their condition, which in some cases must be paid at a specific rate.

Carer’s Allowance is now paid at £69.70 per week and you can choose to be paid weekly in advance or every four weeks giving you £278.80 per payment period. The new guide also explains how to apply for the benefit if you are a carer and are not already applying for it.

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However, there are some things you need to be aware of. For example, Daily recording reports that if you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, your other benefit payments may change, but DWP guidelines say your total benefits will generally increase or stay the same.

When you receive child care allowance, the person you care for will generally stop receiving:

  • Severe disability premium paid with their benefits
  • An additional severe disability amount paid with the pension credit

They can also cease to benefit from a reduction in the residence tax

Applying for carer’s allowance with a state pension

You cannot receive the full amount of childcare allowance and your state pension at the same time. The DWP explains: ‘If you are on state pension, you can still get carer’s allowance if this is less than your state pension benefit.’

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If your pension is £69.70 a week or more, you will not receive Carer’s Allowance, but your pension credit payments will increase instead. If your pension is less than £69.70 a week you will receive Carer’s Allowance to make up the difference.

If you are not eligible

You may be eligible for Carer’s Credit if you are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance. You can get Carer’s Credit if you look after someone for at least 20 hours a week.

The Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps fill gaps in your National Insurance record – your state pension is based on your National Insurance record. – Find out more about National Insurance Credits on GOV.UK, here.

Am I entitled to care allowance?

You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meet certain criteria.

The person you are caring for must already have one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the average or highest care rate

  • Attendance allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above normal maximum rate with Work Injury Disability Benefit

  • Constant assistance allowance at the basic rate (full day) with a war invalidity pension

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Payment for children with disabilities at the average or highest care rate

  • Adult Disability Payment at the Daily Living Component Standard or Enhanced Care Rate

If someone else also takes care of the same person as you, only one of you can apply for care allowance.

The type of care you provide

You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

This may include:

  • help with laundry and cooking

  • take the person you are caring for to a doctor’s appointment

  • help with household chores, such as managing bills and running errands

Eligibility

The guidelines on GOV.UK state that all of the following must apply:

  • You are 16 or older

  • You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone

  • You have been in Scotland for at least two of the last three years (this does not apply if you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)

  • You are not attending school full time

  • You don’t study 21 hours a week or more

  • You are not subject to immigration control

  • Your earnings are £128 or less per week after tax, national insurance and expenses

How do I apply for care allowance?

You can apply online at GOV.UK website here or telephone the Carer’s Allowance Unit for an application form on 0800 731 0297.

Before applying, make sure you have your:

  • National Insurance Number (if you have a partner you will need theirs as well)

  • Bank or construction company details

  • Employment details and latest payslip if working

  • P45 if you recently completed the job

  • Course details if you are studying

  • Details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of looking after your children or disabled person while you are at work

GOV.UK Advice indicates that you also need details of the person you are caring for.

You need their:

  • Date of birth and address

  • National Insurance number if they are 16 or older

  • Disability Living Allowance reference if they are under 16

More help and advice on childcare allowance

You can get more help and advice from:

Find out more about applying for child care allowance on the Gov.uk website here.

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