Advice: Am I entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance?

Pat Hutchinson MBE.
Pat Hutchinson MBE.

By Pat Hutchinson MBE, District Manager, Newtownabbey CAB

Q: I am 73 and I look after my husband 24/7. He is 78 and suffers from dementia. He gets high rate Attendance Allowance and we get state retirement pensions and some pension credit. Can I claim Carer’s Allowance for looking after him?

A: You can get Carer’s Allowance if you are caring for somebody who is getting one of the following benefits:

• Attendance Allowance

• Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate for personal care.

The ‘caring week’ runs from Sunday to Saturday. Therefore, you could still be entitled to Carer’s Allowance if you provide at least 35 hours of care throughout the week.

You can receive Carer’s Allowance if you work and earn less than £102 per week.

The rate payable for Carer’s Allowance is £61.35 per week.

You can’t get Carer’s Allowance if:

• You are on a course of full-time education

• If you receive certain other benefits, including the state pension, which are paid at a rate that is the same or more than Carer’s Allowance, you may not receive payment of Carer’s Allowance but may have what is called an ‘underlying entitlement’.

Underlying entitlement - As you are in receipt of State Retirement Pension you cannot get Carer’s Allowance but you will be recognised as a carer, by completing a DS700(SP) Carer’s Allowance form. You could receive an extra Carer’s Premium with your pension credit of £34.20 per week. You could be also losing out on some help with your rent or rates.

You can make a claim by requesting a DS700(SP) Carer’s Allowance form on the benefit enquiry line - 0800 220 674, or call at Newtownabbey CAB to discuss it further. We can carry out a benefit check for you and help complete the form.

• Get free, confidential and independent advice from your local CAB or log on to www.adviceguide.org.uk

Call Newtownabbey CAB on 028 9085 2271 or email enewtownabbey@citizensadvice.co.uk