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Carers are missing out on £1.5 billion of benefits

  • 20/11/2019

Carers across the country are missing out on £1.5 billion of benefits they’re entitled to, warns national poverty charity Turn2us, this Carers’ Rights Day (21 November).

Carer’s Allowance is worth up to £3,440.00 a year for those who care full time for someone with a disability and as many as 440,000 could be missing out on the benefit. This equates to £1.5 billion of unclaimed carer’s allowance annually.

Sara Willcocks, Head of Communications at Turn2us, says:

“Caring for someone is a huge responsibility and research shows that carers are disproportionately socially and economically vulnerable.

“Most carers give up their working and personal lives to care for family or friends. Carer’s Allowance is there to be claimed but so many are missing out. We implore anyone who cares for someone for more than 35 hours a week to do a benefit check and see what their entitlements are.”

For those not sure if they’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance, Turn2us advises:

  • Carer's Allowance is money for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care to someone who has a disability.
  • The person you care for must be getting a relevant benefit because of their disability, which in some cases has to be paid at a certain rate.
  • You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for to get Carer’s Allowance.
  • You can qualify for Carer’s Allowance whether you are in or out of work, but you must not earn more than £123 a week.
  • Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – it is not based on your personal income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement.
  • Carer’s Allowance usually counts in full as income when calculating your entitlement for means tested benefits.

As well as Carer’s Allowance, carers may also be eligible for the following financial support:

  • Universal Credit – if you are out of work or on a low income. People who spend more than 35 hours per week caring for someone who is getting a benefit because of their disability get extra money included in their Universal Credit.
  • Carers’ Credit - if you are under State Pension age and you are caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.
  • Pension Credit - If you and your partner have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit. If one of you is under pension age and one is over it, use the Turn2us calculator to check what benefits you might be able to claim.

The charity recommends that carers who are worried about financial support use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator or call its helpline on 0808 802 2000 to check what benefits or charitable grants they may be eligible for.