Carer’s Allowance: Scottish claimants can get a £462.28 Christmas bonus – act quickly

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Carer’s Allowance claimants in Scotland can be awarded an extra payment through a supplement which is issued twice a year. The first supplement payment was issued on June 16, with the next due in December.

Who can get the supplement?

The next Carer’s Allowance supplement will be paid in December and it will be £462.80. Claimants will get this if they were in receipt of Carer’s Allowance from October 11, 2021.

This payment will be double the amount paid in June as the Scottish Government recognised “the pressures unpaid carers face because of the pandemic.” To get the Carer’s Allowance supplement claimants must be living in Scotland on October 11 and be claiming Carer’s Allowance payments on that date.

It should be noted the person being cared for does not have to live in Scotland themselves.

Additionally, it may be possible to get the Carer’s Allowance supplement if the claimant lives outside of Scotland but has a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland. This can affect people living in the UK, European Economic Area, Switzerland or Gibraltar.

This supplement has proven to be crucial for Scottish claimants. Since being introduced in September 2018, 574,020 supplement payments have been made to 119,945 carers across Scotland, reaching £149million in total.

The latest figures from the Scottish Government showed over 82,000 people have benefitted from the supplement this year, with £19.1million paid out during mid-2020.

Those who are eligible for this supplement should be paid automatically in December. The exact payment date will be released closer to the time.

However, to be eligible people must be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance itself by October 11, giving claimants just over a week to act.

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Carer’s Allowance eligibility

People may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if they care for a person for at least 35 hours per week who themselves get certain benefits. This includes PIP, Attendance Allowance or Armed Forces Independence Payment.

The type of care needed can range across a number of options which includes helping with washing and cooking, taking the person being cared for to a doctor’s appointment and helping with household tasks.

Additionally, all of the following must apply for a claimant to be eligible:

  • They’re 16 or over
  • They spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • They’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years
  • They normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or they live abroad as a member of the armed forces
  • They’re not in full-time education
  • They’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • They’re not subject to immigration control
  • Their earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

Carer’s Allowance can affect other benefits that both the claimant and the person they’re caring for are receiving. When a claim for Carer’s Allowance is made, the person being cared for will stop receiving a severe disability premium paid with their benefits and an extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, if they get one.

They may also stop getting reduced Council Tax if they are in receipt of it. Generally, when a person claims Carer’s Allowance their other benefit payments may change, but their total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.

Carer’s Allowance is not affected by the benefit cap but payments can be impacted by state pension claims.

The Government advises claimants to use a benefits calculator, which are free to use and can be found online, to find out how Carer’s Allowance will impact their other benefits.

How to claim

Before making a claim for Carer’s Allowance, claimants will need to have certain information at the ready. This includes their National Insurance number, bank details and employment status.

Additionally, details on the person being cared for will also be needed. This includes their date of birth and address, National Insurance number and Disability Living Allowance reference (if they’re under 16).

Claims can be backdated by up to three months and applications are made online through the Government’s website. If a person cannot apply online, they can apply through the post.

Should a claimant disagree with a decision from the Government following a claim, they’ll be able to challenge the decision under mandatory reconsideration rules.

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