Suzanne is part of the team here at Mobilise. She cares for her husband Matt who was diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson's 16 years ago. She has been looking into Carers Allowance. Here she shares her experiences and tips.
Carers Allowance was on my list of things to tick off my carers action plan. Either to cross it off because it didn’t apply or to apply because I do qualify. Spending a few hours researching this I found some positive things that might help you feel more motivated to get this ticked off as well.
£66.15 a week adds up to £3,400 a year
It could take as little as 10 minutes to complete the online form
Your claim can be backdated by up to 3 months
Even if you aren’t entitled to carer's allowance you may be able to claim Carer’s Credit to ensure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record
Here are the first easy deciders:
You need to be regularly caring for one person for over 35 hours a week
You must be over 16 and not in full time education
The person you are caring for needs to be in receipt of a relevant benefit eg:
Disability Living Allowance
Personal Independence Payment
Armed Forces Independence Payment
Your income needs to be less than £123 per week (£6,396 a year)
You need to live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
Hopefully this simple checklist gets you to the point of being a yes, no or a maybe. But do read on….
Is it as simple as that?
Of course not! There are a few more details to consider:
Only one person can claim carers allowance for the person being cared for.
You can only claim for one person that you are caring for - you can’t claim twice or add up hours caring for 2 or more people.
Claiming can affect other benefits such as your pension, or the benefits of the person you are caring for.
If you are earning more than £123 per week it might be worth a closer look as pension contributions and caring expenses make a difference
You don’t have to live with the person who you are caring for
Lots of activities can be counted as caring - eg shopping, cooking meals, cleaning, washing, admin, keeping them safe as well as other types of personal or practical caring
You must report changes in your circumstance which might affect your entitlement
If you are a yes or a maybe take a look at the Gov.Uk website to check those extra details and make an online application. If your situation is particularly complicated a Turn2Us local ad visor could help.
If you are a no at the moment that’s another thing you can tick off as “done” for now but don’t forget to look at it again if your circumstances change.
Do you know what other financial, practical and emotional support might be available? Complete our simple support checker to find out today. We will also send you a free personalised action plan. Start here