Universal Credit: Jonathan Reynolds on Labour’s policy
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Currently, claimants of Carer’s Allowance can receive upwards of £67.60 a week from the Government. This particular benefit payment is not based on someone’s income or capital, or that of their partners. Despite this, there is a cap on how much a claimant can earn from work and still be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
Benefit payments are taxable, but claimants will only need to pay tax if they have other sources of taxable income, including personal pensions or part-time earnings.
Furthermore, if this combined income goes above the threshold for paying tax, claimants will need to pay up. On its own, Carer’s Allowance is under this threshold.
Who is eligible?
In order to qualify to receive this benefit, claimants must meet certain criteria in order to get regular payments.
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Carers must look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit for at least 35 hours a week.
Qualifying benefits include the middle or the higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), either rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or either rate of Attendance Allowance.
The 35 hours a week must include doing practical tasks for the person in need of care, including day-to-day activities, like cooking.
On top of this, they must be aged 16 or over and cannot be in full-time education while claiming the allowance.
To receive the full benefit, claimants cannot earn over £128 a week after deductions. This also affects potential claimants who are self-employed.
Due to “overlapping benefits” rules, those applying for Carer’s Allowance might meet the criteria for receiving payments if they get one or more of certain other benefits.
These benefits include the state pension, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Maternity Allowance, Bereavement or widow’s benefits, Severe Disablement Allowance, and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
In addition, claimants must meet the residency requirements for receiving benefits claimants in the UK.
How to make a claim
Before applying for Carer’s Allowance, benefits claimants are encouraged to research what they are entitled to before applying in order to avoid any potential disappointment if their application is rejected.
Support organisations, such as entitledto and Turn 2 Us, have benefits calculators which will allow Britons to find out why they can claim in Government support.
After doing this, claimants should start their application. They will need to provide their National Insurance number, bank or building society details, employment details and latest payslip if they’re working, or a P45 if they’ve recently finished work.
Furthermore, claimants will need to provide the personal information of the people they are caring for, including their date of birth, address, and National Insurance Number. Claims can be backdated by up to three months.
Claims can be made via the Gov.co.uk website or through the post. Anyone applying for Carer’s Allowance must report any changes to their circumstances, such as work or personal changes, so their claim is accurately assessed.
If an application is rejected, claimants are able to contest this decision through a mandatory reconsideration.
Anyone who meets the above criteria to receive Carer’s Allowance should start their application for benefit payments as soon as possible.
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