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carers allowance and universal credit

bunny1971 Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi I'm aware on a different post here, that they take your backdated carers allowance pound for pound when on universal credit. Previously my girlfriend was on DLA and after the assessment was awarded it for life, then in the summer of last year DWP said that her DLA was stopping and would have to apply for PIP, in the mean time I was claiming income support and carers allowance, with a reduction in the income support to accommodate for the Carers allowance. Anyway in December her PIP was turned down and had to wait for an appeal date and for the time being I was on income support and no carers allowance, although I was still caring for her. Then 2nd week of February this year they moved me onto Universal credit, then towards the end of May my girlfriend won her appeal for PIP, so I decided to re-apply for carers and was told to backdate it to December of last year. Just wanted to know if anybody would kniow what would happen in my situation, as I had income support for around 2-3 months with no carers and then universal credit with no carers, Will I still lose it all trying to claim backdating, or will I get backdated carers for the time I was on income support?


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger

    When claiming UC there's no need to claim Carers Allowance because the carers element of UC can be paid without claiming carers allowance. The only advantage to claiming carers allowance is that it pays class 1 NI.

    When you were claiming Income Support what was the reason you were able to stay on it when the carers allowance stopped? Did you have a child under 5?

    You won't be backdated any of the carers allowance, even for the time you stayed on Income Support. This is because for both IS and UC the carers allowance is deducted £1 for £1. For Income Support they add a carers premium, they could be backdated to the date the carers allowance stopped.

    When you first claimed UC did you tell them that you're a carer? If you did then it will be backdated. If you didn't tell them that you are a carer then you may have problems with them backdating the carers element too because i've heard of this happening to a lot of people. The carers element of UC is £160.20 per month. There's a thread on here somewhere about this, if i find it i'll put the link here.

    One other thing... sometimes carers allowance don't communicate with UC and they pay you all of the backdated carers allowance as one lump sum. If this happens then you'll have an overpayment for UC and this will have to be repaid back. They will most likely ask you to pay it back by deducting money from future UC payments.

  • bunny1971
    bunny1971 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thanks for getting back to me Poppy, to be honest when my carers allowance finished back in December I had a long telephone conversation with DWP because I was unsure what benefits they were going to put me on, I phoned the income support as that was the last benefit I was on at the time and to be honest the advisor didn't have a clue, that was telephone conversation 1 of many and not once did anybody mention carers element, I think they were hoping that my girlfriend was going to lose her appeal and everything would be brushed under the carpet.  I did explain that they were stopping my carers allowance and that I was still going to be a carer, but they didn't seem to care and at first they had me go to a meeting in my local jobcentre and to make sure my journal was updated every day with my job searches etc etc. I then explained on my journal that I was a full time carer, so anyway they applied back on the journal pretty quickly and said don't worry and that she would catch up with me this coming September, as she said because I was a carer that it wasn't compulsory to keep my journal up to date. During the whole of this time there was no mention of the carers element and haven't received no extra money. Yes when I came off Income support they accepted I was still a carer although I wasn't getting any benefit for it and the same when they switched me over to Universal credit. The only evidence I would have is if they've recorded my telephone conversations and the reply on my journal.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2019
    The reason it wasn't added when you first claimed UC is because your partner wasn't claiming a qualifying benefit. Even though you don't have to claim carers allowance to claim the carers element, the person you're caring for still needs to claim a qualifying benefit.

    You need to put a note on your journal for the carers element to be added. This should be backdated to the start of the PIP award. However, as mentioned in my previous comment, carers allowance my pay you the whole of the carers allowance backdated which you're not entitled to. If this happens then the carers element that's owed will be deducted from that and the remainder of what's left will be an overpayment of UC. Complicated for sure.

    May i also ask if you're claiming UC as a couple, if so is your partner sending in sick/fit notes for UC?
  • bunny1971
    bunny1971 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    hi thankyou again, My girlfriend didn't send no sicknotes in, just a doctors letter and a letter off her specialist explaining it was impossible for her to work and medical history/prescription drugs history, this is when I applied for carers allowance once again, unaware that I couldn't. I mentioned  20/05/2018 as the date of my girlfriend winning her appeal and the date I was claiming from, then online when claiming carers, there's a note at the bottom with anything to add, I explained that Dec 10th was last date of my carers and 20/05/2018 was the day girlfriend won her appeal and that I was claiming back since December unaware that I couldn't claim as I was on universal credit, anyway they sent me a letter to say i'd been turned down as she wasn't anywhere on their system. So then phoned and asked why I was turned down, this was around a fortnight ago,They said they realised what had happened, they had processed my claim on June 12th but girlfriends' details didn't go live on their system until the 19th of June, which was when her letter had been issued and her receiving  her backdated benefits and again no mention that I wasn't entitled to Carers allowance and that I should claim carers element side of UC,just that they'll process it straight away as they seen where the error was made.

  • bunny1971
    bunny1971 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    It is only this last week after using search engine, reading different forums that I realised I wasn't entitled to carers allowance on universal credit and should be claiming care component on top of my universal credit, nothing was ever mentioned by DWP.
  • bunny1971
    bunny1971 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Sorry no we're not claiming as a couple, we don't live together yet, its something we're thinking of in near future, as costing a bomb in travel and need to be with her quite a bit.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,885 Disability Gamechanger
    One thing i did forget was that if you're living in Scotland then you will receive a carer’s supplement of £226 twice a year which is ignored by UC.

    For your carers element to be added you will need to "report a change" on your journal and put caring for someone and the date the PIP was awarded from. This will then go to a decision maker who will say no.

    When this happens you need to tell them that you made them aware of your caring duties on your journal and that your commitments changed because of it.

    However, as the PIP was awarded in May, they will argue that you should have made the official change then as prior to that your girlfriend wasn't in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

    One of the most difficult things to get backdated is the carers element. Good luck.

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,193

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @bunny1971!

    I hope Poppy has been able to answer all of your queries regarding Carer's Allowance and Universal Credit. If you do have any more questions or we can help you with anything else, please don't hesitate to ask. :)
    Community Manager

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