Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance
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Carer’s Allowance is the primary benefit for unpaid carers taking the brunt off health and social care services. However, Carer’s Allowance and State Pension are classed as overlapping benefits, meaning state pension age carers may lose their entitlement entirely.
Carer’s Allowance offers £69.70 every week for unpaid carers performing care duties for 35 hours or more per week.
Unpaid carers must be aged 16 or over to claim the benefit, and there is technically no upper age limit for Carer’s Allowance.
However, the Government website states: “You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.”
Essentially, it is based on the Carer’s Allowance rate of £69.70, and if a person receives more than this amount from their pension per week they will no longer be entitled to the benefit.
If they receive less than this amount from their pension they can receive Carer’s Allowance to make up the difference.
For example, if they receive £50 per week from their state pension they can receive an additional £19.70 from Carer’s Allowance to reach the £69.70 threshold.
Even if one’s pension income is over the £69.70 limit, charities like Carers UK urge Britons to make their claim anyway.
If a person meets all of the eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance but cannot claim it due to their pension, they can still receive underlying entitlement.
Britons will usually receive a letter confirming this, and while it carries no direct financial compensation it can greatly help their case for other benefits.
The entitlement can potentially make one eligible for a benefit they couldn’t receive before or give them a higher rate of benefits they are already receiving.
Carers UK notes on its website: “This can be financially beneficial as it can increase any means-tested benefits you are currently getting, or it could mean that you become entitled to means-tested benefits for the first time, depending on your and any partner’s income and capital.
“This is because having the ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance means that an amount called the Carer Addition will be included when working out whether you are entitled to means-tested benefits.”
Carers UK advised that there are a variety of other benefits pension age carers could be eligible for, including:
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Council tax reduction or support.
Pension Credit specifically is aimed to help retirees living on a low income, and is largely under-utilised by the target age group.
A person claiming Pension Credit, State Pension and Carer’s Allowance and they receive more than £69.70 per week they will not receive Carer’s Allowance.
Instead their Pension Credit payments will be increased.
The minimum guarantee element for a single person on Pension Credit is £182.60 per week and £278.70 per week for couples.
On top of this, unpaid carers could add £38.85 per week through the Carer Addition.
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