As a carer, you are living an extremely busy life. So, it is easy to miss out on something like carers allowance. Especially, when so much is changing. So, if you missed it, the new regulations changed the way carers receive their allowance from April 2017 onwards.
Here are the most important things to know about allowance.
You have to ask first
Carers allowance is like no deposit slots at a casino. If you want it, you must ask. First, you must know about the option but even when you do, no one is going to bring it to you. That’s a lesson young carers probably already know all too well. According to statistics now, almost half of the allowance goes unclaimed. The fact that you are extremely busy, often doing two jobs does not help, but this is something you earned – you have to ask for it.
A carer’s assessment is your opportunity to discuss with social services how caring affects your life and what support you need to help you to continue in your caring role.
— Carers NI (@CarersNI) March 10, 2018
Maximum is set for £62.70 a week
Maximum carers allowance is based on your earnings per week after deductions, but can not exceed £62.70 a week. This was due to the national minimum wage being increased to £7.5 an hour.
However, you cannot collect carers allowance when you earn over £116 a week. In cases when the earnings fluctuate, you earn only for weeks when your earnings were lower than £116.
Here’s a tip: half of your pension is deductible. So, if you go a little over with your weekly salary, by putting some away for your pension may bring back your eligibility.
Are you eligible?
If you are a carer for at least 35 days throughout the week (including days and nights), you are eligible to receive carers allowance. The person, of course, must be receiving some kinds of a living benefit.
Also, you must be at least 16 but not in a full-time education. Full time education means you need to study at least 21 hours per week.
What living benefits qualify for the allowance?
If the person you are caring for, receives a benefit from the government, you are likely to be eligible for the carers allowance. Specifically, these benefits include middle or higher rate component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
That’s the most important things you must know about your carers allowance, except this. No matter how little time you have got, you must follow these rules changes. We know that it is tough and we also wish the system was not that complicated. But it is. And it doesn’t change the fact that if you want to get a little bit of money which definitely, helps you must follow the regulation changes. Most often you can’t fix after the fact.
Luckily, there are ways to keep up to date like Facebook groups and community newsletters.