The UK government offers benefits to financially assist people caring for others with substantial caring needs. The primary benefit is a carer’s allowance of £58.45 per week (gov.uk, January 2013). Carer’s benefits can also affect your other benefits such as the Housing, Council Tax, Income Support, Income-based Jobseekers’ Allowance, and Pension Credit Benefits.
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In order to be eligible for Carer's Benefits you must be over 16 years of age and care for the person for a minimum of 35 hours per week. In addition you may not be a full-time student or have an income exceeding £100 per week after tax. It is not necessary to be related to or living with the person you are caring for.
The person under your care must have been accepted for one of four benefits: Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or the Constant Attendance Allowance with Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Pension.
Exact information on eligibility is available on the UK government website “Carer’s Allowance" page (gov.uk/carers-allowance).
If you live in England, Wales or Scotland it is possible to apply directly online at www.directgov.gov.uk/carers or by calling 08456084321 during office hours.
For residents of Northern Ireland it is possible to download an application form from www.nidirect.gov.uk. You can also call 0800220674. A text phone option is available at 0800243787.
You can also visit your local Benefits Office where you will need to complete the DS700 application form.
How to claim
Tips and warnings
- You will need to know your National Insurance Number in order to apply. If you do not have a National Insurance Number it is first necessary to apply for one.
- It is possible to claim benefits for up to 3 months preceding your application should the person have been in your care for part or all of that period.
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