Starting on 10th April 2017 new regulations have been put in place so that the earning limit for the Carer’s allowance will increase from £110 to £116 a week. This blog will explain a bit about this benefit and comment on the changes that have been made and how they affect you.
What is the Carer’s Allowance?
The Carer’s Allowance is a benefit available to anyone who has given up full time employment in order to care for someone for at least 35 hours a week. As of 10th April, the carer’s allowance is £62.70 (an increase of 6p per week). You will be entitled if you earn £116 or less through employment (an increase of £6 per week), you are not in full time education, and are over 16 years old. To find out more about your eligibility for the Carer’s Allowance, take a look at the HERE page in Financial Support for Carers.
Why is the carers allowance changing?
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state that the change will allow up to 2000 more people to work part time and still be eligible for the full Carer’s Allowance. The government recognises that many full time carers want to stay in part time employment, combining their paid work with caring duties where possible.
Damien Green, DWP Secretary of State said ‘Carers should be celebrated for the vital and selfless work they do every day. That’s why we are increasing the Carer’s Allowance limit so that more carers who are in work will be able to benefit this extra support.’
However, whilst increases in benefits to carers are welcomed, it is important to note that they are largely offset by increases in the national living wage. For example, if you work just 16 hours a week for the national living wage (£7.50) you will still earn too much to be eligible for the Carer’s Allowance.
Can I talk through my situation with someone?
Contact HERE on 0300 222 5709. – our helpline staff can talk you through your situation and offer impartial and friendly advice. We can look at other support you might be entitled to, including money towards your heating or health discounts.
We aim to keep our website as up to date as possible and react to the news and policy changes when they come in. If you are a carer and want to know more about your role and any support available, take a look at our HERE carers pages.