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Benefits Update June 2017: Carers

  • 13/06/2017
  • Author:Liam.Evans@turn2us.org.uk

Carers Week runs from 12th to 18th June

old man and a female carer in background

Carers Week is a timely reminder to ensure that people caring for people who are ill or disabled are claiming the financial help that they are entitled to.

An estimated £16.6 billion per year in benefits goes unclaimed every year and according to the Carers UK four out of ten carers miss out on support that they are entitled to because they don’t know about it.

In this article, we talk about some of the benefits carers may be entitled to claim.  Please also see our section on Carers on the Turn2us website.

Carer's Allowance

Caring for someone is challenging in many ways. Claiming Carer’s Allowance could ease the pressure and could also boost your entitlements to other benefits.

How much is Carer's Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is currently £62.70 per week.  The rate is revised by the government every April, and usually goes up each year.

Who can get Carer's Allowance?

You can claim Carer's Allowance if:

  • You are caring for someone at least 35 hours per week
  • The person you care for receives:
    • Personal Independence Payment daily living component
    • Attendance Allowance
    • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or higher rate
  • You do not earn more than £116 per week

You can check whether you are entitled to Carer's Allowance by using the Turn2us Benefit Calculator and by reading information about Carer's Allowance on the Turn2us website. 

Before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance, you should check with the person you are caring for, as receiving Carer's Allowance may affect the benefits they receive, such as them losing the severe disability premium.

Increase your income

Receiving Carer’s Allowance usually means an extra amount called a Carer Premium included in your other benefit entitlements, which could make you better off. 

You can use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check out what you are entitled to in benefits.  You will also be exempt from the benefit cap if you or your partner is entitled to Carer’s Allowance. 

Other Benefits

Income Support

Income Support is for working age people who are not available for work that is available to specific groups of people.

You can claim income support if you are a carer and meet other conditions. For example, if you are getting Carer's Allowance. The amount of income support you get depends on how much savings and income you have. 

Employment & Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance is for working age people who have limited capability for work because they are unwell or disabled. 

There are two types of ESA – contributory ESA, which is based on your national insurance record or income-related ESA based on your income and savings.

You may have a choice as to whether to claim income support or income-related ESA.  The Turn2us Benefits Calculator will work out which one pays more.

Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit can help to pay your rent. Your entitlement depends on your how much rent you have to pay and how much income and savings you have.  It is worth claiming it even if you are only entitled to a small amount. 

If you receive some Housing Benefit and you are struggling to cover your rent, you can apply for extra help from the Council with a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Universal Credit

In some areas, working age people will have to claim Universal Credit instead of Housing Benefit, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance.

Carers on Universal Credit don’t have to comply with any job seeking or work conditions to receive their benefit, although their partners may have to.

Carers can get an additional carer’s element included in their Universal Credit so that their entitlement is increased.  The amount you receive depends on how much income and savings you have.  

The Turn2us Benefits Calculator works out all of these benefits for you and tells you if you are in area where you have to claim Universal Credit instead.

Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a top up for people who have reached pension credit age. Your entitlement is only affected by savings over £10,000 and then only by £1 in every £500 over the £10k limit. The amount you receive depends on how much income and savings you have. 

Carers should also look out for

Council Tax Support

If you are liable for Council Tax, and your income is low, you could claim Council Tax Support from your local council. 

Council Tax Support is paid into your Council Tax account to reduce your Council Tax bill. The amount you receive depends on how much income and savings you have. Different councils have different rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

There are a lot of carers who are unwell or disabled themselves and have care or mobility needs. We have information on the Turn2us website about PIP.   

Search for a Grant

You can also find out whether you are eligible for a charitable grant using our free Grants Search.

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