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Ask the expert: Will claiming Carer's Allowance affect other benefits?

No matter how complex your emotions or your circumstances, the Carers UK Adviceline is here to give you the information we need.

Each month we take a question from the Carers UK Forum and get one of our advisers to provide an expert response. This month Jen from the Carers UK Adviceline explores the different options for taking a break, and we share your experiences of the benefits and challenges.


You asked:Concerned comic

My daughter was recently awarded Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

If I make a claim for Carer's Allowance, could it affect her payments? I'm unable to work at the moment because my husband works away from home and I need to be around to look after my daughter.

 

Our Adviser says:

AdvicelineIf you claim Carer’s Allowance for looking after your daughter, then her Personal Independence Payment (PIP) wouldn’t be affected in any way.

However, if your daughter is receiving any means-tested benefits, then your claim for Carer’s Allowance could affect these. The means-tested benefits that could be affected are:

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction

This is because if she is receiving the severe disability premium (or severe disability addition in Pension Credit) as part of her means-tested benefits, she will lose this if you are paid Carer’s Allowance. The severe disability premium (or severe disability addition in Pension Credit) is £61.85 a week and might be included in your daughter’s means-tested benefits if she meets all of the following conditions:

  • She gets a qualifying disability benefit (which includes the middle or the higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA); either rate of the daily living component of PIP or either rate of Attendance Allowance); and
  • She lives alone (there are some exceptions to this - such as if she lives with other people who also receive a qualifying disability benefit they will all count as living alone); and
  • No one is paid Carer’s Allowance for looking after her.

Therefore, if your daughter is getting this ‘severe disability premium’ included in her means-tested benefits, then she will lose this if you are paid Carer’s Allowance for looking after her, and so the amount of her means-tested benefits would go down.

However, if your daughter is not getting this ‘severe disability premium’ included in her means-tested benefits (for example if she is not entitled to this because she lives with you and your husband and neither of you get a qualifying disability benefit), then her means-tested benefits wouldn’t be affected by you claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after her.

It is also worth noting that if you only get the ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance (which means you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because you are already getting certain other benefits including a State Pension), then this wouldn’t have any impact on your daughter’s means-tested benefits even if she is receiving the severe disability premium.


Find out more

Carer's Allowance

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. Click here to read our web information and download our factsheet.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

If you have a long term illness or disability – physical and/or mental – and you are aged between 16 and 64 years old then you may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Click here to read our web information and download our factsheet.

Carers UK Adviceline

 You can talk to us five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring. 

  • 0808 808 7777 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carers UK Forum

Our warm and welcoming online community is a place where you can share what's on your mind, day and night, with people who understand. Click here to find out more.

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