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Carer’s Allowance (CA) is a taxable benefit for people who care for an ill or disabled person.
There are certain rules and conditions that you have to meet in order to make a successful claim to Carers Allowance for looking after someone and these are outlined below. Even if you can't be paid Carers Allowance due to the overlapping benefits rules it may still be worth making a claim as this will give you what is known as an 'underlying entitlement' to Carers Allowance which can add carers premiums onto other means tested benefits to increase your entitlement.
To qualify for Carers Allowance you must:
- Provide regular and substantial care (of 35 or more hours per week) which can include supervision as well as assistance
- Care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance, the care component of Disability Living Allowance (middle or highest rate), Personal Independence Payment (daily living component) or Constant Attendance Allowance (excluding part-time rate) in respect of industrial or war disablement.
- Be aged 16 or over (no upper age limit)
- Not be in full-time education
- Earn no more than £120 a week (after taxes, care costs while you're at work and 50% of what you pay into a pension)
- Normally live in the UK and not be subject to immigration control
- The carer can claim CA at the same time as receiving Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (DLA)/Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- The person being cared for does not have to be a relative of the carer and can live with or separately from the carer.
- There is no upper age limit for claiming CA
- If you are looking after two or more people, you can only claim CA for one of these, i.e. a carer can only receive one award of CA.
- If you are caring for more than one person, you cannot add together the hours to make up the required 35 hours: you must be caring for one of those people for at least 35 hours
- The number of hours spent caring cannot be averaged out over a number of weeks: you must provide care for 35 hours in any given benefit week
- The time spent preparing for or clearing up after a visit can be counted as time caring.
- If two or more people care for the same person for 35 hours or more per week, only one of you can qualify for the award.
- CA will continue to be paid for up to 8 weeks after the person being cared for dies.
How much is carer's allowance?
The amount of CA you can receive depends on whether you have any dependents.
Allowance Weekly Rate
Carers Allowance is paid at a rate of £64.60 in 2018 - 2019
Adult Dependent £38.00 (Please note that this is unavailable unless you have received it before its abolition on 6th April 2010).
This means that you will normally get £64.60 per week and an extra £38.00 per week if your husband, wife or civil partner is financially dependent on you. This dependency addition must have been in place before 6th April 2010.
However, this additional payment will not be made if your partner’s income (including earning, overlapping benefits, or private pensions) is over a certain amount.
Additional amounts for dependent children used to be applied to CA but were abolished in April 2003.
To qualify for CA you cannot be ‘gainfully employed’.
Therefore, from April 2018, you must not be earning more than £120 per week.
This figure should be worked out after deductions which include tax, National Insurance Contributions, half of any contribution made towards an occupational or personal pension and any other allowable deductions.
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