A question often asked of our Carer Benefits advisor is: “Can I claim Carers Allowance if I have savings?” As with some types of means tested benefits, this is the case. With the plethora of benefits and their eligibility criteria, it is not surprising a lot of carers ask this very valid question. Read on as we explore the answer.
What is Carers Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is one of the main benefits for unpaid carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible. Carer's Allowance is currently paid at £67.60 a week (2021-22).
Am I eligible?
You are likely to be eligible for Carers Allowance if you:
- Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives the higher or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
- Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives either rate of Personal Independence Payment daily living component
- Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives either rate of Attendance Allowance
- Earn less than £128 per week net (2021/2022 figure)
- Are not in full-time education
- Are not subject to immigration control.
Also note that ‘overlapping benefits’ such as state retirement pension may prevent you being paid Carers Allowance.
Can I claim this benefit if I have savings?
The short answer is yes. Savings have no effect on entitlement to Carers Allowance. Provided you meet the conditions for receiving Carers Allowance, it doesn’t matter how much savings you or your partner have. This is different to Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits.
Case in point
During a 1:1 carer benefit call, one carer assumed he could not claim Carers Allowance due to the sum of his savings. Through conversation in the 1:1 meeting, he discovered that not only could he claim, but that he could backdate it for up to 3 months. This meant that he had lost nothing. He had been caring for someone in receipt of a disability benefits for two and half months and was able to claim Carers Allowance for that whole period, as well as going forward.
To make a claim for Carers Allowance, go to: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim or ring the Carers Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297; textphone: 0800 731 0317.
Read more about our Carer Benefits Service here. For specific advice on whether Carers Allowance is for you, contact Carers Support West Sussex on 0300 028 8888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a 1:1 appointment with our benefits adviser.
Important Note: If the person you care for receives a severe disability premium this may stop if you receive Carers Allowance. This can be checked. See: https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Severe-Disability-Premium/Can-I-get-a-Severe-Disability-Premium