Carer’s allowance: Will payments be affected by the benefit cap? Full details on claiming

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Carer’s allowance is awarded to those who care for someone who has certain debilitating conditions and who claims their own benefits such as PIP or attendance allowance. Eligible claimants could receive up to £67.25 a week from the support.

While carer’s allowance can be impacted by how much a claimant receives in income, it is one of the few state benefits not to be affected by the benefit cap.

The benefit cap is a limit on the total amount of income a person can receive from benefits and it applies to most people aged between 16 and state pension age.

Those who are over the state pension age, which is currently sitting at 66, are typically not affected by the benefit cap.

Additionally, those new to Universal Credit are typically spared from any benefit cap drawbacks for at least nine months in, depending on their earnings.

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As it stands, the benefit cap affects the following:

  • Universal Credit (post the nine month grace period)
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widow’s Pension if the claimant started getting it before 9 April 2001)

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While carer’s allowance claimants will not be limited by the benefit cap, they could see their income affected by their earnings.

Within the eligibility rules, it is detailed claimant’s earnings should not exceed £128 per week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

Should earnings go over this level, the government will look at the claimant’s average earnings rates to determine eligibility.

The official calculation for earnings involves taking any income from employment and/or self-employment and taking away tax, expenses and National Insurance.

Expenses can include 50 percent of pension contributions, equipment such as specialised clothing, travel costs and business costs.

When carer’s allowance is claimed it is likely to have an impact on other benefits, for both the recipient and the person they’re caring for.

For recipients, any other benefits they claim are likely to be affected but the government details the total amount they receive from all of their state support will usually remain the same or even increase.

For the person being cared for, it will no longer be possible to receive a severe disability premium paid with their benefits or receive an extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, if they get one.

To make an initial claim for carer’s allowance, claimants will need to have the following information ready:

  • National Insurance number
  • bank or building society details
  • employment details and latest payslip if they’re working
  • P45 if they’ve recently finished work
  • course details if they’re studying
  • details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for children or the disabled person while they’re at work

Additional information on the person being cared for will also be needed and claims can be made online or through the post.

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