Carer’s Allowance could boost state pension amount – but beware impact on other benefits

Pensions credit: Age UK reveals how to claim benefits

Currently, the Carer’s Allowance rate is £67.25 per week. This is something an unpaid carer may be able to claim if they care for someone for at least 35 hours per week, and the person being cared for receives certain benefits.

It’s important to note that this individual doesn’t need to be a relative, or someone who the carer lives with.

Carer’s Allowance for a person can only be claimed by one unpaid carer, however.

Furthermore, an unpaid carer can’t get extra Carer’s Allowance if they care for more than one person.

This form of financial support may be a welcome form of income, and it could potentially unlock access to other forms of support.

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Examples of this include a Council Tax Reduction, grants and bursaries, and support from the local council.

That said, it is important to be aware that Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both the claimant, and the person being cared for, get.

The government website details the different impacts it can have on either person under the Carer’s Allowance guidance.

It’s also possible to use an anonymous and free to use benefits calculator to work out how one’s other benefits would be affected.

There are three different independent tools signposted on the government website.

These services are hosted by Turn2us, Policy in Practice, and entitledto.

Should a person claim Carer’s Allowance, they may be interested to hear about the way it can potentially boost their state pension entitlement.

For each week a person gets Carer’s Allowance they will automatically get National Insurance credits.

This can help to fill in any gaps there may be on one’s National Insurance record.

The new state pension is based on a person’s National Insurance record when they reach state pension age.

They will usually need 10 qualifying years on this record to get any new state pension.

The government explains: “You may get less than the new full State Pension if you were contracted out before 6 April 2016.

“You may get more than the new full state pension if you would have had over a certain amount of Additional State Pension under the old rules.

“You’ll need 35 qualifying years to get the new full state pension if you do not have a National Insurance record before 6 April 2016.”

Kay Ingram, Director of Public Policy at national financial planning group LEBC, highlighted the impact the credits can have for unpaid carers.

“If in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, a credit for NI contributions will automatically be available. Each year’s credit currently provides £260 per annum of state pension,” she said.

Ms Ingram went on to explain that even if a person doesn’t or can’t claim Carer’s Allowance, they could still potentially access the credits via Carer’s Credits.

“If ineligible for Carer’s Allowance you may still claim Carer’s Credits worth a NI credit for each year if you care for an adult for 20 hours per week or more and whose care needs meet the eligibility criteria,” she said.

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