Care: Research shows a quarter of UK adults are carers
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Carer’s Allowance is a benefit payment administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It can be claimed by individuals who care for someone for at least 35 hours per week if the person being cared for gets specific benefits. Other eligibility rules do apply, and these can be found on the Government website. However, unpaid carers are at risk of losing access to Carer’s Allowance if they fail to update the DWP regarding any life changes which could affect their claim.
There are multiple scenarios which the Government department believes must be reported for someone to continue receiving their full £69.70 a week.
This includes if someone starts a new job and is about to receive an income is unable to provide care for the required 35 hours a week.
Furthermore, anyone who begins or is about to come to the end of full-time education must report this change to the DWP.
On top of this, if someone’s income changes this could affect how much money they are entitled to in benefit support.
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Anyone who decides to stop being an unpaid carer entirely will no longer be entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
It should be noted that if the person someone is looking after no longer receives their disability benefit, their carer will not be entitled to Carer’s Allowance support.
Examples of qualifying payments for those being cared for include the middle or highest rate of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
Another example of a circumstance change which needs to be reported is if another person is looking after the same person as an unpaid carer, and they are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance instead of them.
Also, if someone else who looks after the same person claims the carer’s element of Universal Credit, the DWP must be informed.
Any changes to someone’s immigration status must be shared with the Government, if the unpaid carer is not a British citizen.
Finally, Carer’s Allowance claimants must report to the DWP if the person they are looking after passes away.
Failure to do any of the above could result in the claimant being taken to court or having to pay a penalty if they divulge wrong information.
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Those on Carer’s Allowance can still continue to receive support from the DWP and not lose money even if they temporarily stop providing care.
This includes any period of time when an individual is not looking after someone for at least 35 hours a week.
However, in this circumstance the person being looked after must still be in receipt of their disability benefit payment.
Claimants must report to the DWP if they temporarily stop looking after someone and they or the person they are caring for will be in hospital, a nursing home, or respite care for more than 12 weeks.
They must also inform the Government if they stop doing unpaid carer work for more than 28 days for any other reason.
The DWP must also be told if someone has been paid too much money in Carer’s Allowance by mistake.
Examples of when someone will need to repay money is if they did not report any life changes to the Government right away.
Furthermore, money will need to be repaid if someone gives incorrect information or was overpaid accidentally.
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