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Useful facts about Carers Allowance

Carer helps man
The carers benefits system has been branded 'complex' by MPs

A group of MPs has called for more to be done for the millions of people who provide unpaid care for the elderly or disabled.

They called the current system of claiming benefits "unnecessarily complex" with excessive amounts of red tape.

Lee Healey from the charity DABD clarifies below some of the basic facts and main rules relating to Carers Allowance and other related benefits.

  • Carers Allowance is £53.10 per week this year.
  • Carers Allowance is a taxable weekly benefit that can be paid to someone if they are caring for a disabled person for at least 35 hours per week.
  • The disabled person must be getting a qualifying disability benefit - this includes disability living allowance at middle or high-rate of the care component or any rate of attendance allowance.
  • You cannot get Carers Allowance if you earn more than £95 per week (once allowable deductions have been made, for instance income tax)
  • You cannot get Carers Allowance if you are in full-time education (21+ hours of supervised study).
  • Carers Allowance comes under the 'overlapping benefit' rules, which means that if you are already receiving certain non-means-tested benefits you might only have an underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance.
  • If you are awarded Carers Allowance, you should also look to see if you can get means-tested benefits as well - working age carers should look into Income Support and pension age carers Pension Credit. But both age groups should also look into the possibilities of claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
  • Very important - the claiming of carers allowance can have an adverse affect on the disabled persons benefit entitlement.
  • The best advice to both carers and the disabled person is seek some expert, independent benefits advice from an organisation that fully understands carers' benefits issues.

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