People who claim Carer’s Allowance have been rugged to check if they would benefit from Universal Credit.
Carer’s Allowance currently pays £76.75 a week but a person could get much more than this by also claiming Universal Credit, or by switching to Universal Credit.
People who claim Universal Credit could also be eligible for cost of living payments worth a total of £600.
Research from TakingCare Personal Alarms found 80 percent of Carer’s Allowance claimants believe their payments are not enough to cover their costs.
The benefit is intended to support a person who cares for another person for at least 35 hours a week, and that person gets certain benefits.
However, a carer will not be eligible if they are in full-time education or they study for more than 21 hours a week, or if they earn more than £128 a week.
Those who claim Carer’s Allowance may want to check if they can increase their benefit payments by claiming Universal Credit.
People on Universal Credit receive a monthly standard allowance payment as well as additional payments depending on their situation.
The current monthly standard allowance payments are:
- Single under 25: £292.11 (up from £265.31 per month)
- Single 25 or over: £368.74 (up from £334.91 per month)
- Joint claimants both under 25: £458.51 (up from £416.45 per month)
- Joint claimants, one or both 25 or over: £578.82 (up from £525.72 per month).
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Universal Credit claimants can get an extra payment if they care for someone for at least 35 hours a week and if the person they care for gets a health or disability-related benefit. This payment is currently £185.86 a month.
If a person claims both Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit, their Universal Credit payment would be reduced by the amount of Carer’s Allowance they receive.
For example, a single person aged 25 or over on Universal Credit would receive the standard allowance of £368.74 a month. If they qualified for the extra carer payment, they would get an additional £185.86, bringing their total Universal Credit payment to £554.60 a month.
If they claimed Carer’s Allowance as well, this would add £307 to their payments, but this would be deducted from their Universal Credit amount, but they would still get the £554.60.
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Allowance who is starting to claim Universal Credit may find it easier to just cancel their Carer’s Allowance, and they will still get the full larger amount just through their Universal Credit payment.
People who claim Universal Credit may also be eligible for £600 in cost of living payments this financial year.
Claimants of certain means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit, are receiving a £900 cost of living payment in three instalments over this tax year.
The first £301 payment went out in April and May with a £300 payment to go out in autumn 2023 and a final instalment of £299 in spring 2024.
The Government has yet to confirm payment dates for these last two instalments, or the qualifying period when a person would need to be claiming one of the eligible benefits to be sent the payments.
People on disability benefits are also to get a separate £150 cost of living payment, which is going out later this month.
Pensioners who receive the Winter Fuel Payment this winter will also get an additional cost of living payment of between £150 and £300.
A person can find out how much benefits they are entitled to using an online benefits calculator, such as the one on the Turn2us website.
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