Carers across the country are missing out on vital financial support because £1.5 billion in Carer’s Allowance remains unclaimed every year, according to a leading charity.
Carer’s Allowance can be worth as much as £3,440 each year, but up to 440,000 people who provide unpaid care for elderly or disabled loved-ones, and whom may be eligible to claim, either choose not to claim or are unaware of the entitlement.
This equates to £1.5bn of unclaimed Carer’s Allowance annually, according to research by the charity Turn2Us.
And carers may also be missing out on other forms of benefits like Carer’s Credit and the carer element of Universal Credit, worth £160.20 a month.
Sara Willcocks, Head of Communications at Turn2us, says: “Caring for someone is a huge responsibility and research shows that carers are disproportionately socially and economically vulnerable.
“Most carers give up their working and personal lives to care for family or friends. Carer’s Allowance is there to be claimed but so many are missing out.
“We implore anyone who cares for someone for more than 35 hours a week to do a benefit check and see what their entitlements are.”
Am I Eligible?
Turn2Us has detailed the eligibility requirements for Carer’s Allowance, and how this may affect others benefits, and we have listed these below for your convenience.
Carer’s Allowance is money for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care to someone who has a disability.
The person you care for must be getting a relevant benefit because of their disability, such as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments, which in some cases has to be paid at a certain rate.
You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for to get Carer’s Allowance.
You can qualify for Carer’s Allowance whether you are in or out of work, but you must not earn more than £123 a week.
Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – it is not based on your personal income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement.
Carer’s Allowance usually counts in full as income when calculating your entitlement for means tested benefits.
You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you are out of work or in low-paid employment, including the self-employed. Those who provide 35 hours a week of unpaid care may be eligible for an extra amount on top of their usual monthly Universal Credit payment.
If you are under State Pension age and caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week, you may also be able to claim Carer’s Credit.
If you and your partner has reached State Pension age you may be eligible for Pension Credit.
You can find out about all of the benefits that you and your partner may be able to claim by using the Turn2Us benefits calculator.