There are a range of financial support measures, including benefits and allowances, that you might be able to access if you are a carer. They may also be relevant for the person you care for.
What do you know about Carer’s Allowance?
If you are a full time carer you should be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. Carers Allowance isn’t means tested but it may reduce the means-tested benefit entitlement of the person who is cared for.
- 16 years of age or older.
- caring for someone for 35 hours a week or more.
- the person being cared for must be entitled to the Disability Living Allowance Care Component (at the middle or highest rate), Personal Independence Payment Daily Living Component (at either rate), Attendance Allowance (at either rate) or Armed Forces Independence Payment. Earn less than £128 pounds a week after national insurance and tax. If hours fluctuate they calculate an average weekly salary.
- You do not have to reside in the same household as the cared for person to receive carer’s allowance.
You cannot be paid Carer’s Allowance if you receive basic benefits e.g. State Pension, Incapacity Benefit which are more than the amount of Carer’s Allowance but you will have an underlying entitlement to the Allowance, which should be beneficial. The rate for Carer’s Allowance for the year 2021-2022 is £69.70 per week.
Additionally, you might be able to access the Carer Premium. It is not a benefit in its own right, but an extra premium which is included as part of any means-tested benefits you get if you also receive Carer’s Allowance. The Carer Premium is worth £37.70 a week.
It’s always worth speaking to a benefits rights adviser such as the team at VOCAL and organising a benefits check. You or someone you care for, or someone else in the circle of support maybe entitled to some financial support.
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is in two parts: care and mobility components. You should qualify for the care component if your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or if you need someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety. In Scotland, Disability Living Allowance will be replaced by the Child Disability Payment in November.
Mobility needs can be –claimed at the lower rate for a child from 5 years of age. At the higher rate, it is 3 years of age. There are two areas where you or the person you care for will be assessed:
- Daytime test: frequent help with personal care throughout the day
- Night-time test: help with personal care at night or at least 20 minutes or someone to check on the child twice throughput the night or once being more than 20 minutes.
You can call the Disability Living Allowance Helpline on 0345 712 3456 to order the form or download it: www.gov.uk/government/publications/disability-living-allowancefor-children-claim-form.
What do you know about Personal Independence Payment (PIP)?
Personal Independence Payment helps with the extra costs of disability or long-term health conditions for people of working age.
It’s a non means-tested benefit. This means you can receive PIP regardless of how much you earn, or whether you have savings or capital. You can get Personal Independence Payment (PIP) whether you’re working or not.
You must also have a physical or mental health condition or disability where you:
- have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for 3 months
- expect these difficulties to continue for at least 9 months
Personal Independence Payment is made up of two components:
- The Mobility component might be paid if you need help/or have difficulty getting about. It’s also referred to as the mobility allowance.
- The Daily Living component might be paid if you need help/or have difficulty with carrying out everyday activities, such as washing and dressing.
Each component can be paid at either a standard or an enhanced rate. Points are awarded to each category and a minimum of 8 points is required for each component.
Depending on how your condition affects you, it’s possible to get one component or both, and either the standard or the enhanced rate. More information: https://www.gov.uk/pip
What do you know about Attendance Allowance?
Attendance Allowance helps with extra costs if you have a disability severe enough that you need someone to help look after you. It’s paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability.
You could get £60 or £89.60 a week to help with personal support if you’re both:
- physically or mentally disabled
- State pension age or older
You can receive Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached state pension age and the following apply:
- you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
- your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
- you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill)
More information: https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance
What do you know about Universal Credit?
Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit for people on a low income and people out of work which replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment. You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
- you’re on a low income or out of work
- you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
- you’re under state pension age (or your partner is)
- you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
- you live in the UK
Universal Credit payment is made up of a standard allowance and any extra amounts that apply to you, for example if you:
- have children
- have a disability or health condition which prevents you from working
- need help paying your rent
More information on Universal Credit can be found on the Citizen’s Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/universal-credit/