Carer’s Allowance is the primary benefit payment for those who look after a loved one and do not get paid for it. Other support for this group include Carer’s Credit and Carer’s Allowance Supplement, which is available in Scotland. In 2023, those receiving this support will see their benefit payments rise significantly.
Who is eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
For someone to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, they must be caring for someone for at least 35 hours per week.
People do not have to be related to, or live with, the person they are looking after in order to qualify for the payment.
However, that person will need to be in receipt of at least one of the qualifying benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Attendance Allowance.
If another unpaid carer looks after the same individual as the claimant, only one is able to claim Carer’s Allowance.
How much is Carer’s Allowance?
Recipients of this payment are able to claim £69.70 a week if they meet the eligibility criteria for the DWP support.
It should be noted people do not get paid more Carer’s Allowance even if they look after more than one person.
All payments of the DWP benefit are either paid weekly in advance or every four weeks, according to the claimant’s choice.
Those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance can decide which bank or building society account they want to be paid into.
What will payments rise to?
The vast majority of benefit payments managed by the DWP will see their rates increased by 10.1 percent in April 2023.
This is in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation for September from this past year.
When this is implemented by the Government department, Carer’s Allowance claimants will get paid £76.74 a week.
For unpaid carers, this is the equivalent of an extra £300 in their pockets during the current cost of living crisis.
“Whilst the extra funding for social care is welcome and will help with some of the pressure points in social care, it still falls short of what we really need to give carers the breaks and support they need – 40 percent of carers have not had a break in the last year.
“Long term sustainable funding of social care must remain an urgent priority for the Government, to provide a decent life for people needing care, to prevent carers from having to give up work in order to care and to stop their health and wellbeing from deteriorating.”
One of the proposals the charity is suggesting should be introduced is a £500 cost of living payment to help unpaid carers throughout the winter months. As well as this, Ms Walker recommends raising earnings limit for Carer’s Allowance, to help carers who are able to work part time could work for more hours.
A DWP spokesperson said: “We recognise the valuable role of unpaid carers and remain committed to helping them financially, along with their health, wellbeing and employment chances. Universal Credit includes a carer’s element worth more than £160 a month and since 2010 we have increased Carer’s Allowance, putting an additional £700 a year in carers’ pockets. Those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance may be entitled to other support, including benefits.
“We know that living with a long-term illness or disability can impact on living costs, which is why we are supporting six million disabled people with an extra £150 payment. This is part of the £37 billion package of support, which will see eight million low-income households receiving at least £1,200 of direct payments this year. We urge people to check they are getting all the help to which they are entitled.”