Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible.
A factsheet about Carers Allowance can be downloaded from the Carers UK website – click here
Carer's Allowance is paid at £62.10 a week (2016/17 rate). The amount paid is reviewed each year in April, but isn’t necessarily increased.
Carer’s Allowance is not based on your National Insurance record. It is also not a means tested benefit based on your and any partner’s income and capital. However, there is a cap on how much you can earn and still be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance is taxable. However, carers will only have to pay tax if they have other sources of taxable income such as an occupational pension or earnings. Carer’s Allowance on its own is below the threshold for paying tax.
Who can claim Carer's Allowance?
Not every carer can get Carer's Allowance. You may be eligible if you meet all the following conditions:
• you look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit
• you look after that person for at least 35 hours a week
• you are aged 16 or over
• you are not in full-time education
• you earn £110 a week (after deductions) or less
• you satisfy UK presence and residence conditions
Note: If you meet the above conditions but already receive certain benefits (including a State Retirement Pension), then the amount of Carer’s Allowance you may be entitled to could be affected.
Lots more information on Carers Allowance and details on qualifying criteria can be found on the Carers UK website – click here
How to claim Carer's Allowance
You can apply online at www.gov.uk/carers or you can download a claim form
On the online claim form the person you are caring for no longer has to sign their consent. Alternatively you can call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321
Personal independence payment (PIP)
Personal Independence Payment is tax free benefit, paid monthly, to assist the person you care for with extra costs to their 'daily living' caused by long-term ill-health or a disability. In some circumstances carers may also be eligible for PIP, if you have your own health needs.
You could get between £21.80 and £139.75 a week (2016/17)
PIP is made up of two components; Daily Living and Mobility.
You may get the Daily Living component of PIP if you need help with things like:
• preparing or eating food
• washing, bathing and using the toilet
• dressing and undressing
• reading and communicating
• managing your medicines or treatments
• making decisions about money
• engaging with other people
You may get the mobility component of PIP if you need help going out or moving around.
In order to claim PIP, you must undergo an assessment. This assessment will be carried out by an independent healthcare professional and will consider how your condition affects you. The assessment will determine how much support you are entitled to, and you will be regularly reassessed to make sure you are getting the right support.
To claim PIP you must:
• be aged 16 to 64
• have a long-term health condition or disability and difficulties with activities related to ‘daily living’ and / or mobility
• be in Great Britain when you claim - there are some exceptions, eg members and family members of the Armed Forces
• have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
• be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
• not be subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)
PIP is gradually replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA), so those receiving DLA will be asked whether they want to claim PIP at staggered points by 2017. DLA won’t be affected for children under 16 or people who were 65 or over on 8 April 2013
Call the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to make a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim.
Telephone: 0800 917 2222
Textphone: 0800 917 7777
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
For more information click here
Attendance Allowance is a benefit for the person you care for, to assist with their personal care if they are aged 65 or over and are physically or mentally disabled.
Attendance Allowance is more flexible than most benefits. For example:
• It is not means-tested. It can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record
• It is tax free
• You can get Attendance Allowance even if you are working or studying
• There are no restrictions on how you can spend your Attendance Allowance money
• Carers who are disabled or ill can also claim Attendance Allowance in their own right, even if they already get, or qualify for, Carer’s Allowance
You may also be entitled to extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction if you are a recipient of Attendance Allowance.
To claim Attendance Allowance click here
or call the Attendance Allowance helpline
Telephone: 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs, it is being phased out and is ending for people who were born after 8 April 1948 and are 16 or over.
You can only make a new DLA claim if a child is aged under 16.
You’ll continue to get DLA until the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) writes to tell you when it will end and invites you to apply for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
If you were born on or before 8 April 1948 you’ll continue to receive DLA and won’t be entitled to claim PIP.
If you’re aged 65 or older you may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if your DLA ends and you aren’t eligible for PIP.
Visit www.gov.uk/dla click here to find out more, or call 0345 605 6055
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Universal Credit is a new means-tested benefit you can claim if you are on a low income or out of work.
Universal Credit can support:
• for housing
• for children and childcare
• if you’re disabled or have a health condition
• if you care for somebody with a disability
If you claim Universal Credit you will no longer be eligible for tax credits. Additionally, if your partner claims, or if you move in with a partner who claims Universal Credit:
• you will no longer be eligible for tax credits
• you will no longer be eligible for your current benefit claims
• your partner’s Universal Credit will become a joint claim
Universal Credit is being rolled out gradually and will replace the following benefits:
• Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Housing Benefit
• Working Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit
• Employment and Support Allowance
• Income Support
For more information visit www.gov.uk/universal-credit (link), or call the
Universal Credit helpline
Telephone: 0345 600 0723
Textphone: 0345 600 0743
If you are on a low income, and living in rented accommodation, Housing Benefit can help with your rent. Housing Benefit is a means-tested benefit. The amount you can get depends on your (and any partner's) income and capital. You can get Housing Benefit if you are working, even if you are working full time. The amount you can get also depends on whether you are in privately rented housing or social housing, and on who lives with you.
You claim Housing Benefit from Dudley Council if your aren’t claiming nay other benefits. You should claim as soon as you think you may be eligible. It can sometimes be backdated but any delay could mean you lose out.
Please note that by 2017 Housing Benefit will be replaced by universal credit (link to universal credit page).
For more information contact the council’s benefits services at email@example.com or call 0300 555 8100. A member of staff will book an appointment for you and advise you what information to have available during the interview.
Council Tax Reduction
You can make an application for council tax reduction if you live in the Dudley borough and you or your partner:
• Pay rent to Dudley Council, a social landlord (Housing Association) or a private landlord
• Pay council tax to Dudley Council
• Have people living with you on a low income or unemployed (you may be able to receive Alternative Maximum Council Tax Reduction only)
If you think you may be entitled to Council Tax Reduction, you can check to see if you qualify by using the gov.uk Benefits Adviser before making a claim.
If you think you are eligible then please apply as soon as possible, if you delay, you may lose out on benefit.
You can claim direct via Dudley Council here http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/your-council/council-tax-and-benefits/benefits/benefits-application/
Alternatively If you would like to apply over the telephone, contact the council’s Benefits Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 555 8100. A member of staff will book an appointment for you and advise you what information to have available during the interview.
You can use an independent online benefits calculator to find out:
• what benefits you could get
• how to claim
• how your benefits will be affected if you start work
These are free to use and are anonymous,
Use one of the following:
• Turn2us - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
• entitled to - for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work
You’ll need accurate information about your:
• income, including your partner’s (eg from payslips)
• existing benefits and pensions (including anyone living with you)
• outgoings (eg rent, mortgage, childcare payments)
• council tax bill
Find out more here
Dudley District Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB)
The Dudley District Citizens Advice Bureaux provide free, independent and confidential information and advice.
They can be contacted on 03444 111 444 (Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm) Calls to this number are directed to the Black Country Adviceline team.
Alternatively visit www.adviceguide.org.uk.
To cut waiting times a system called ‘GATEWAY’ is in operation which means you will be offered a short interview (approximately 10 minutes) so that your problem can be assessed. The Adviser will then decide the next course of action for you. This could be to:
• Give you information to resolve the problem
• Make an appointment for you to see a general adviser
• Direct you to another agency
Care and Disability Advice Line (CADAL)
The CAB also operate a dedicated advice line for people with care needs or with disabilities. This is available Monday to Friday - 9:30am to 4:30pm
Tel: 08080 486486