Millions of Britons who provide ‘informal’ care could lose benefits worth £3,624 | Personal Finance | Finance

The charity’s latest survey Carer’s UK It has been revealed that more than six million people in the UK are carers, which equates to one in eight adults. According to the House of Commons Library Family Resources Survey, around six per cent of the UK population of around 4.2 million provide unpaid, “informal” care. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has defined an informal/unpaid carer as “someone who provides unpaid assistance to a friend or family member who needs support, perhaps due to illness, old age, disability, mental health or addiction. ”, unless they work.

According to the DWP’s Carer’s Allowance rules, looking after someone can include helping with laundry and cooking, taking the person cared for to doctor’s appointments or helping with household tasks such as managing bills and shopping.

This can make someone eligible to claim Dependent Carer’s Allowance if they meet other benefit criteria.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance will give someone weekly installments of £69.70 paid every four weeks.

This equates to £3,624.40 a year and a claim can be backdated for up to three months, this extra income can provide valuable support with rising living costs.

read more: 70 health conditions qualify for an extra £156 a week in PIP from the DWP

To be eligible to claim, people must first be 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

Claimants must not be in full-time education and study for 21 hours or more per week.

They must live in England, Scotland or Wales and earn £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

Britons can only claim the benefit if the person they care for claims one of the “qualifying benefits”.

Don’t miss out

If people claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit and Carer’s Allowance, their payments will be reduced by the amount of Carer’s Allowance they receive.

With the State Pension, there is actually no upper age limit for receiving Carer’s Allowance, however, people cannot receive the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and State Pension at the same time.

If a person’s State Pension is less than £69.70 a week, they can claim the difference paid in Carer’s Allowance.

Last year, the DWP called for a review of what Britons are entitled to in order to help them financially during a cost-of-living crisis.

According to a study commissioned by Smart Energy GPA third of unpaid carers are spending “significantly more” looking after loved ones than last year as the cost of living rises.

In a survey of 1,000 people who do not care professionally, more than three-quarters this year have spent more time making sure the home of the person they care for is energy efficient.

On average, an unpaid carer has spent £400 on things like LED lightbulbs, boiler servicing and better quality curtains.

Philippa Brown, who commissioned the study, said: “Unpaid carers take on a huge responsibility in looking after friends or family, and the cost of living crisis is making their role more challenging.”

The survey also found that more than eight in ten unpaid workers are seeing their stress levels rise due to the inevitable cost increases associated with the care they provide.

Only eight per cent of the 1,000 people surveyed believed they were adequately supported during the cost-of-living crisis.

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