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.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, new measures (from 30 March) allow unpaid carers to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus or if they have to isolate because of it.
The government has also confirmed that providing emotional support counts towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week across the UK.
Carer’s Allowance is currently paid at £67.25 a week (2020-21).
Carer’s Allowance is not based on your income and capital (or any partner’s). However, there is a cap on how much you can earn from work and still be entitled to 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 occupational or personal pensions or part-time earnings, and if this combined income takes them over the threshold for paying tax. Carer’s Allowance on its own is below this threshold.
Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
If you have a long term illness or disability – physical and/or mental – and you are aged from 16 to below your state pension age, then you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). If you are aged from 16 to below your state pension age and are not already getting Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you can claim PIP now.
If you are aged 16+ and were under 65 on 8th April 2013 (in England, Wales & Scotland) or were under 65 on 20th June 2016 (in Northern Ireland) and are already getting DLA, then at some point you will be assessed for PIP instead by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) (Department for Communities (DfC) in Northern Ireland). This is called the PIP Migration process. This will happen when one of the following applies:
- you reach 16 years of age (unless you are a child and have been awarded DLA under the special rules for terminal illness)
- there is a reported change to your care or mobility needs
- you have a DLA fixed award due to expire
- you choose to claim PIP instead of your DLA
- you are invited to claim PIP as part of the migration process, even though none of the above changes have occurred.
Note: DLA claimants do not need to take any action regarding their PIP re-assessment until they are told to do so by the DWP (DfC in Northern Ireland).
PIP can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record and is a tax free benefit. You can get PIP even if you are working or studying. If you are a carer who has care needs, you can claim PIP for yourself and this will not affect your Carer’s Allowance.
If you are on a low income or unemployed, you may be able to claim Universal Credit (UC) which is a means-tested benefit (meaning the amount of income and capital you have can affect your eligibility).
In the light of Covid-19, the standard rate in Universal Credit and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from 6 April, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off. For further details, see the latest news on the Gov.uk website. Note that if you claim Universal Credit, the rules around minimum income will also be relaxed for the duration of the outbreak of coronavirus. You will also be able to claim Universal Credit and access advance payments without having to visit a jobcentre.
Attendance Allowance is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term illness or disability, which can be either physical and/or mental. It is for people over their state pension age.
Attendance Allowance isn’t means-tested. This means it can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record and is a tax free benefit. If you are a carer who has care needs, you can claim Attendance Allowance for yourself and this will not affect your Carer’s Allowance. The person who is cared for may also be eligible for this benefit.
Getting Attendance Allowance does not reduce other benefits, it may even increase them. If you have a carer then claiming Attendance Allowance may help them to qualify for certain benefits (such as Carer’s Allowance). Attendance Allowance may also entitle you and/ or your carer to further help with council tax.
Getting Care and support
Care at Home
If you are finding it difficult to manage with your personal care needs, home care services may be able to help you cope with daily living.
Some people start to find it harder to manage day-to-day living at home because they are getting older or frailer, or because of the impact of a disability or illness. A service which provides practical or personal care for someone in their own home can help someone keep their independence.
Such services have a number of names, including home care, domiciliary care and care at home, but they all refer to a service where someone comes to your home on a regular basis to carry out those personal or household tasks that you are not able to do for yourself.
Personal care can include help with getting up and going to bed, bathing, dressing, meals and medication. Practical support may include help with housework, shopping and going out.
Care at home is provided through Social Services for people who have been assessed as having high levels of personal care needs.
Sometimes people only need care at home for a short time to get back on track after an illness or a stay in hospital. This sort of short-term care is provided by social care and health staff working together and will focus on helping you to do things for yourself so that you will be able to manage on your own again.
For people who are not eligible for support from Social Services, or who prefer to make their own arrangements, there are a number of domiciliary care agencies in the Swansea area which provide both personal care and practical support.
Coming Out of Hospital
If the person you care for is in hospital you may be faced with important decisions. You may be considering taking on this caring role for the first time and don’t know what to expect. Or you may have already been caring for the person, but their needs have now increased or changed.
One important thing to remember is that it is your choice whether or not to take on a caring role. Think about the type and amount of support you are able to provide and what help you might need. For example, you may be able to help with shopping and meals but feel that you would both like someone else to help with personal care. It is important for you to consider how your caring role is likely to affect your life and well-being.
Managing Someone’s Affairs
- Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
- Mental Capacity Act
Technology and Equipment
- Wheelchair and equipment hire
- The Courier
- Our Services Booklet