Universal Credit: DWP member on informing claimants
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More than £15billion goes unclaimed every year in benefits – money that could be put to good use to help people with everyday living costs. According to charity Turn2Us, at least seven million British people are missing out on these unclaimed benefits which could make a big difference to their finances. Carer’s Allowance is available to anyone who is caring for others for at least 35 hours a week as long as the person they are looking after is on certain benefits.
People who have just started to look after a neighbour, friend or relative could be completely unaware that they are entitled to claim an extra £67 a week if they spend at least 35 hours a week helping them.
They don’t have to be related, or even live in the same house, as long as they are assisting them with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, washing, managing bills and shopping.
And it’s not just people with Alzheimer’s that might have a carer who is entitled to claim the Carer’s Allowance, it could be anyone with a mental health condition or other disability.
The DWP does however ask that certain criteria is met and that the carer has been living in the UK for at least three years and isn’t in full time education.
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Can I claim for Carer’s Allowance?
If the person who needs caring for is on certain benefits and needs help for 35 hours a week then it’s worth having a look at the government website to check for eligibility.
Most benefits are included and a few examples of qualifying benefits include the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance.
People might also qualify if they are looking after someone who receives Armed Forces Independence Payment or Child Disability Payment.
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However, it’s important to point out that only one person can claim Carer’s Allowance if someone else also cares for the same person at different times.
Claimants could receive £67.60 a week for their services, which is paid every four weeks by the DWP.
It’s usually available to carers whose earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.
That said people who earn more than £128 a week might still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance because a portion of their earnings can be put down as expenses.
What can I put down as expenses?
- 50 percent of your pension contributions
- equipment needed for the job, for example specialist clothing
- travel costs between different workplaces that are not paid for by your employer, or fuel or train fares
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Some payments also don’t need to be classed as earnings including things like money received from a pension and a percentage of income from someone boarding in the home.
However, people won’t receive the full Carer’s Allowance and state pension at the same time so it’s always worth checking.
On the Government website it states: “If your pension is £67.60 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.
“If your pension is less than £67.60 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.”
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