The carer premium is an extra amount of money included in the calculation of Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Council Tax Reduction (Rate Rebate in Northern Ireland) and Housing Benefit.
The carer addition is an equivalent amount paid with Pension Credit.
The carer premium and carer addition are both worth £33.30 from April 2013.
If you can’t get Carer’s Allowance because you are being paid another benefit that overlaps with it, you can still get the carer premium or addition if you have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance. An ‘underlying entitlement’ means that you meet all the criteria for Carer’s Allowance but can’t be paid it. To be given ‘underlying entitlement’, you must still make a claim for Carer’s Allowance.
Under Universal Credit, there is a ‘carer element’ which you can get included in your Universal Credit claim if you care for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week. An ‘element’ is an additional amount of money included in your Universal Credit calculation similar to the carer premium in Income Support or the carer addition in Pension Credit. You will get the carer element if you meet all the following conditions:
- You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.
- You look after that person for at least 35 hours per week.
- You are aged 16 or over.
- You are not in full-time education.
- You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.
If you satisfy the conditions for claiming Carers Allowance or would do so but for the fact that your earnings are more than £100 a week (after deductions – see here) you will be considered to be caring for a severely disabled person and will therefore have the carers element included in your Universal Credit award. You do not have to claim Carer’s Allowance to get this element.
If you are making a joint claim for Universal Credit, you and your partner/spouse can each get a carer element in your Universal Credit claim if you both qualify for it, but only if you are caring for different severely disabled people.
How to claim the carer premium, addition or element
If you already get Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction Scheme (which has replaced Council Tax Benefit) or Universal Credit, let the relevant department know that you have been awarded Carer’s Allowance (or have underlying entitlement) – their contact details should be on any letters they have sent
you. The carer premium, addition or element should then be added.
To make a new claim:
- For Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, call the Jobcentre Plus contact centre on 0800 055 6688.
- For Universal Credit, you will be able to apply online at www.gov.uk. Universal Credit is being gradually introduced throughout the UK from October 2013. If you are unsure whether you should be claiming one of the benefits above or Universal Credit contact the Jobcentre Plus contact centre on 0800 055 6688.
- For Pension Credit, call the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234 (0808 100 6165 in Northern Ireland).
- For Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Scheme, contact your local authority.
All of these claims should include a question about whether you get Carer’s Allowance. For more information about any of these benefits
contact the Carers UK Adviceline.
Income Support can only usually be backdated for up to one month in certain circumstances, or up to three months in some cases. However, if you are already getting Income Support, the carer premium can be backdated to when your Carer’s Allowance begins, or to when your Income Support started if this is later.
Pension Credit can be backdated for three months. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (or Rate Rebate) can be backdated for up to 3 months in some circumstances or 6 months in some cases. However, if you are already getting one of these benefits, the carer premium or addition can be backdated to when your Carer’s Allowance begins, or to when your other benefit started if this is later.