By Paul Lewis
BBC Radio 4's Money Box
Thousands of carers could gain nearly £47 a week after a government change of policy.
Carers receive an allowance for the valuable support they provide
It has announced it will increase the amount carers can earn before losing their of £46.95 a week allowance
The rise in the threshold from £87 a week to £95 will match the rise in the minimum wage from October 1st.
Without the change carers working for 16 hours a week would have lost their carer's allowance when their wages rose to more than £87 a week.
Campaigners had called for the change last February, but until now the government had refused to act.
But just ten days before the minimum wage was due to rise, secretary of state for work and pensions, Peter Hain, announced he would raise the earnings limit to stop carers losing their allowance.
The carer's contribution
"Carers play a vital role in our communities, providing invaluable help and support for their loved ones.
"It is right that where we can offer further support we do so."
The problem was highlighted by the BBC's Money Box programme in February last year.
Sarah, who cares for her mother and her 14 year old son, told the programme she worked 16 hours a week in a chemist on minimum wage.
But she had lost her carer's allowance when minimum wage went up last year.
Carers in her position got their allowance back in April when the earnings limit was raised.
But they were due to lose it again on October 1st when the minimum wage rises to £5.52 an hour, pushing their pay above £88 for a 16 hour week.
The new limit of £97 gives a comfortable margin above that level.
Governmental reviews to come
Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carers UK said, "We are delighted that government has listened.
"Every time the national minimum wage rose, carers were often forced off benefit or forced to give up work."
She also welcomed a government commitment to review carer's allowance and the support given to Britain's estimated six million carers, who between them, give care which has recently been estimated at £87 billion.
Early in September the prime minister announced a standing commission on carers.
The government has said the change in the earnings limit is an interim measure pending a full review of the National Carers Strategy.
BBC Radio 4's Money Box was broadcast on Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 1204 GMT.