By care we mean personally look after a person who receives one of these qualifying allowances:
If you do, and you spend at least 35 hours per week caring for them, you may be entitled to claim Carer’s allowance of up to £69.70 per week. You would need to be 16 or over, not in full time education and not earning more than £132 per week from employment or self-employment after deductions.
You do not need to be related to or live with the person you care for, but you should tell them if you want to apply for Carer’s Allowance as if might affect other benefits that they (or you) get.
Even if you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, if you care for someone for at least 20 hours per week, you might be able to get Carer’s Credits, (these help to fill in gaps in your National Insurance Record).
In these financially difficult times, it is worth checking out your eligibility for any benefits to which you might be entitled, and Citizens Advice can help you with this. If the person you are caring for is not yet claiming one of the qualifying allowances, but might be eligible, we can help them to apply too if they want to do so.
This is how we helped Nicky*:
Nicky’s husband had been badly injured in a car crash and we had been helping him to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which had just been approved. The young couple had three children, and neither were now working. Nicky was caring for her husband as well as looking after the children and was finding it difficult to cope financially. She wondered if there was anything else that they might be able to claim but was worried that her husband might lose the PIP if they claimed any other new benefits.
The adviser said that she may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance and that if she was, the PIP would not be affected, but it could affect the other benefits that she or the person she was caring for were getting, so he would need to do a careful benefit check for Nicky and her husband.
Nicky was pleased to hear that she might now be able to contribute to the family income.
*Not her real name
If you ‘CARE’ please contact us to see if we can help you, or the person you care for to maximise your incomes.