Caring is a good thing, but it can sometimes be tiring and stressful. In instances when you give up your job to be a carer, there is no doubt that it will have an impact on your financial life. Carer’s Allowance is the benefit set aside by the United Kingdom government to help caregivers concerning finances.
To claim this allowance (all the eligibility requirements are discussed below), you don’t have to be a relative, or even live with the person to whom you are according care. It is just an extra allowance you get on a weekly or monthly basis for you to use as you wish.
How Much Can You Get As Carer’s Allowance?
The amount you may be eligible for in care’s allowance may not be huge and usually changes every year. For the year 2017-18, the amount was set at £62.72 per week and is usually paid on a monthly basis.
Eligibility For Carer’s Allowance
Most people giving care are normally worried that they may not qualify because they have some savings, but it is good to know that your savings and National Insurance do not apply in the determination of the eligibility for this allowance. For you to be eligible:
- You must be spending at least 35 hours a week giving care to a disabled person. They don’t have to be your relatives, and you don’t have to live with them.
- You are taking care of someone entitled middle rate or higher rate component of Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment component or any other rate of Attendance Allowance.
- You earn less than £116 per week after the deductions
- You are not a full-time student or in full-time education
If you are currently qualified for and receiving State Pension, then you will not be eligible for Carers Allowance eligibility. Additionally, you may benefit from an extra amount on what you are given if you are claiming Universal Credit, because you already have a caring role, though you have not applied for the Carer’s Allowance. This is what is referred to as a carer element.
How To Claim Carer’s Allowance
If you are eligible for the Carer’s Allowance, below are the steps you need to take to make a claim:
- Call the Carer’s Allowance for free on 0345 608 432 or visit their website to download the claim form or simply make a claim online.
- Fill in and submit the form. If you need any assistance in completing the form, consult your local Age UK for help.
- After submitting the form, a decision will be sent to you in writing on whether you have been awarded the allowance and if so, how much. If your application was not successful, you could always challenge the benefits decision if you are convinced that you have reasonable grounds to be considered for the benefits.
- After getting a favorable decision, you will then choose how you wish to be paid. You have the option of getting paid weekly in advance or once every month. The payments are sent to a bank account.
If circumstances change, such as you take a break from caregiving or your stop being a caregiver or the person you were caring for goes into a hospital, then you must inform the care’s allowances unit immediately.