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Below are certain benefits that will be affected by a stay of more than 28 days.
Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
AA and DLA (care component) are suspended after 28 days in hospital.
The mobility component of DLA will also stop after 28 days unless you have a motability agreement. In this case, the mobility component will continue to be paid for the full term of the agreement.
Payment of AA or DLA can begin again from the payday following discharge from hospital. If you are awarded AA or DLA while an inpatient, payment cannot begin until you are discharged.
It is important that you inform the Disability and Carer’s Service of the date that you are going to be discharged so that benefits can be reinstated. To do call:
- 0800 587 0912
Other benefits may also be affected when AA or DLA stop. For example, you are no longer entitled to the disability addition of Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Income Support if your AA or DLA is stopped.
Carer’s Allowance (CA) can be affected if the person being cared for goes into hospital or if the carer themselves goes into hospital.
If the person being cared for goes into hospital, the carer may be able to continue receiving CA for up to 12 weeks out of a 26 week period depending on length of service and breaks taken.
However, if the Attendance Allowance (AA), Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) of the person being cared for stops as a result of a period in hospital, the carer's entitlement to CA will also end.
If the person being cared for is discharged and their AA, CAA, or DLA reinstated, then the carer can again claim Carer’s Allowance as long as they continue to meet the qualifying criteria.
What will happen if the carer is in hospital?
If the carer goes into hospital, their CA will stop after 12 weeks or sooner if they have previously been in hospital or had a break within the last 26 weeks.
Please note: If a carer's CA stops, this will impact on any premiums/additional amounts you may receive in other benefits such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Income Support.
What will happen if the person I am caring for dies?
Carer's Allowance will continue to be paid for up to 8 weeks after the loved one for whom you are caring dies. Nevertheless, this is only applicable if you are entitled to the benefit at the time of bereavement and you continue to meet the qualifying criteria.
Who do I contact if there is a change of situation?
Carers must inform Disability and Carers Service if they or the person for whom they care go into or come out of hospital. Contact them at:
Royal Avenue, Belfast
Telephone: 0800 587 0912
Guarantee and Saving Credit components of Pension Credit are affected differently by hospital stays.
If you go into hospital, the guarantee part of Pension Credit (PC) can sometimes continue to be paid indefinitely without being reduced. Carers and people who are severely disabled may find that their guarantee credit is reduced following a stay in hospital.
- If a carer loses their Carer’s Allowance (CA) due to their own hospital stay or that of the person they are caring for, and they receive an extra amount of PC for being a carer, this additional amount is usually suspended 8 weeks after the CA stops.
- If you are single and get the severe disability addition of PC, this addition will stop after a 28 day stay in hospital (at the same time as their Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance stops).
- If you are part of a couple who both receive the severe disability addition of PC, after one partner has been in hospital for 28 days or more the addition will continue to be paid but only at the single person rate.
- If you are part of a couple and one of you receives Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance but do not qualify for the severe disability addition of PC because you live together, this could change if one of you has to stay in hospital for 52 weeks or more. For benefit purposes, you are no longer classed as living together and you should make separate claims.
If you are part of a couple and one of you receives AA or DLA (care component) but do not qualify for the severe disability addition of PC because you do not live alone, this could change if the other partner goes into hospital for 52 weeks or more. In this situation they would no longer be classed as a couple or as living together, so the disability addition could be received.
If you lose the Guarantee Credit of PC, you will have to make a new claim for Rates Relief or Housing Benefit as you will no longer be automatically entitled to these.
The savings credit part of Pension Credit (PC) may not change as a result of hospital stays. However, it could change if you lose your entitlement to additional amounts for Severe Disability Allowance or Carer’s Allowance as described above. If you claim PC, contact The Pension Service on 0800 587 0892 if either of you are going into hospital.
This will be affected in the same way as Pension Credit (above). For example, additional amounts of benefits may be lost and you and your partner may have to make separate claims after 52 weeks.
Constant Attendance Allowance
Constant Attendance Allowance stops after 28 days in hospital.
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