Pensioners caring for loved ones could get £1,900 boost – are you eligible?

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Therese Coffey outlines the benefits of Pension Credit scheme

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Carer’s Allowance along with other carer perks mean pensioners could get £36.85 every week in addition to their pension benefits. However, those claiming state pension may not be eligible for this bonus even if they meet all the other requirements.

Carer’s Allowance is awarded to carers looking after relatives or people close to them, with what is known as a carer addition adding an extra £36.85 every week to one’s pension benefit payments. 

 To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance and this bonus pension benefit payment there are certain conditions one has to meet. 

A carer must be over the age of 16, spend at least 35 hours per week caring for someone who is receiving a qualifying disability benefit and not be in full-time education. 

The qualifying disability benefits include:

Personal Independence Payment 

Disability Living Allowance

Attendance Allowance Armed Forces Independence Payment

Constant Attendance Allowance

It is also worth noting that while Carer’s Allowance doesn’t take into account other state benefits a carer is receiving, one cannot receive the full allowance if they are earning £128 or more per week after tax year for the 2021 – 2022 financial year.

Additionally, one cannot claim the full allowance of £67.60 per week if they are receiving full basic or new state pension. 

One can claim a lower level of Carer’s Allowance if they are receiving a lower level of state pension so much so that their state pension payment is less than the £67.60 offered by Carer’s Allowance. 

For example, if a person receives £40 of state pension per week they can claim £27.60 in Carer’s Allowance.

However, those who do not qualify due to their state pension payments are still encouraged to make a claim to establish their ‘underlying entitlement’ to this benefit.

Having an ‘underlying entitlement’ can increase the amount one is entitled to for other means-tested benefits as well as additional payments. 

The carer addition or carer premium are for those on Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, other income-based benefits or the carers element of Universal Credit. 

Pension Credit tops up state pension for those with a low income, which is awarded based on their earnings.

For couples, their Pension Credit can be claimed for either partner with the combined income and assets used to calculate the amount they will receive.

The Pension Credit is made up of two parts, the first of which, the guarantee credit tops up ones income to £177.10 for individuals and £270.30 for a couple every week. 

The guarantee credit element is available for carers, those with severe disabilities or those with specific housing costs.

Pension Credit also contains the savings credit which is available for those who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016.

It provides £14.04 per week for a single person and £15.71 for couples. 

To apply for Carer’s Allowance of the carer addition through Pension Credit one must fill out the DS700 form or DS700/SP for those receiving state pension.

Additionally, if a number of people are caring for the same person only one can claim Carer’s Allowance or the carer addition. 

Likewise, if one cares for multiple people they can also only claim for one of them. 

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