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Advice on Carers Allowance & Universal Credits Please

lelboy123
lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
Hi there,

I was hoping for some advice on the following. My mum has recently passed away & I am an only child so I am now responsible for looking after my dad who isn't in the best of health - diabetes, pacemaker fitted, falls etc. So much so I am in the process of applying for power of attorney over him which he is happy with. Paperwork has been sent off but can take a while. I have managed to get him attendance allowance but I am finding so much of my time being taken away from me now. My wife & I receive Universal Credits so I mentioned the change in my circumstances to them & they mentioned carers allowance. I just need some first hand advice on this please. Would I be able to get this & my main question is - if so would it affect our UC's in anyway? I mean negatively of course. We can't afford at present to take a hit on UC credit side of things. I am self employed but not earning too much recently hence why I get the working tax side of UC. I was actually due in at the Job Centre this week as when I spoke to them early December they said I'm not close to earning enough to be deemed gainfully self employed. We were going to discuss my next steps but the appointment was cancelled with no reason given!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Lee
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Comments

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,361 Disability Gamechanger
    Look immediately at the Carers Element in UC. You don’t need to be claiming CA to get that and UC were negligent in failing to tell you that. 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 878

    Scope community team

    Hello @lelboy123 thanks for your query, I've marked it as unanswered to help our members find it, hopefully they can advise you more fully.

    I'm sorry to hear the Job Centre cancelled your appointment, have you been able to arrange another one with them?
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    If you claim Carers Allowance it will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement and there's also a maximum earnings limit of £128 per week (after deductions) https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility



  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    Look immediately at the Carers Element in UC. You don’t need to be claiming CA to get that and UC were negligent in failing to tell you that. 
    Thanks for your reply. I've just logged into my UC account & had a search around to find the carers element you mentioned. Before I update the system & apply for it based off my research just now am I right in thinking I may get an additional £163.73 a month? I just don't want it to affect out current benefits in anyway. But if it's an extra £163.73 I would obviously be more than happy with that to help out.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    Hello @lelboy123 thanks for your query, I've marked it as unanswered to help our members find it, hopefully they can advise you more fully.

    I'm sorry to hear the Job Centre cancelled your appointment, have you been able to arrange another one with them?
    No I haven't yet. I just logged in the other day to see it was cancelled. No reason given. I just assumed it was due to the regulations of Covid kicking up a notch again or something. I may phone them to see about having a chat over the phone but to be honest I feel I get better advice on here.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    If you claim Carers Allowance it will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement and there's also a maximum earnings limit of £128 per week (after deductions) https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility



    So you're saying if I claim Carers Allowance it will affect our current UC payments in a negative way? 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 878

    Scope community team

    @lelboy123 that's alright, follow up on the meeting if you do need to, but I'm glad the advice here is useful for you.
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    lelboy123 said:
    If you claim Carers Allowance it will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement and there's also a maximum earnings limit of £128 per week (after deductions) https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility



    So you're saying if I claim Carers Allowance it will affect our current UC payments in a negative way? 

    It's not negative as such. It's always deducted in full from any UC entitlement, if it wasn't then you would be claiming it twice because CA then pay you separately. It's not all negative though because the Carers Allowance pays class 1 NI, where as UC only pays class 3. Also for CA you can be paid weekly, which helps with budgeting because UC is paid monthly. However, as advised there is an earnings limit when claiming CA.
    Which ever way you look at it whether you claim CA and the Carers element or just the carers element, you will still be £163.73 per month better off.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    lelboy123 said:
    Hello @lelboy123 thanks for your query, I've marked it as unanswered to help our members find it, hopefully they can advise you more fully.

    I'm sorry to hear the Job Centre cancelled your appointment, have you been able to arrange another one with them?
      I may phone them to see about having a chat over the phone but to be honest I feel I get better advice on here.

    If you're thinking of ringing the UC helpline for advice then i wouldn't advise that you do that. You'll be ringing a call centre and nothing more. They are not there to give benefits advice because they have very little knowledge and all they do is read from a screen.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    lelboy123 said:
    Hello @lelboy123 thanks for your query, I've marked it as unanswered to help our members find it, hopefully they can advise you more fully.

    I'm sorry to hear the Job Centre cancelled your appointment, have you been able to arrange another one with them?
      I may phone them to see about having a chat over the phone but to be honest I feel I get better advice on here.

    If you're thinking of ringing the UC helpline for advice then i wouldn't advise that you do that. You'll be ringing a call centre and nothing more. They are not there to give benefits advice because they have very little knowledge and all they do is read from a screen.
    Thanks, yes I will bypass the phone call & just update the journal online. It's in black & white that way too which I always like as back up!
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    lelboy123 said:
    If you claim Carers Allowance it will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement and there's also a maximum earnings limit of £128 per week (after deductions) https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility



    So you're saying if I claim Carers Allowance it will affect our current UC payments in a negative way? 

    It's not negative as such. It's always deducted in full from any UC entitlement, if it wasn't then you would be claiming it twice because CA then pay you separately. It's not all negative though because the Carers Allowance pays class 1 NI, where as UC only pays class 3. Also for CA you can be paid weekly, which helps with budgeting because UC is paid monthly. However, as advised there is an earnings limit when claiming CA.
    Which ever way you look at it whether you claim CA and the Carers element or just the carers element, you will still be £163.73 per month better off.

    Ok great I think I understand. So can I just put in a claim for Carers Allowance outside of my UC side of things? I fully understand I will only get one payment of £163.73 however I tackle it. The main reason I want it separate from my UC is my wife is obviously involved in that side of things with me & unfortunately she doesn't get on with my dad too well so having them linked could be causing issues down the line. Ideally I would like them completely separate. Can I do that?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 11
    Your dad isn't linked to your UC claim, other than to tell them the name of the person you care for.
    You can of course claim Carers allowance as well, if you wish but please remember there's a maximum weekly earnings limit of £128 per week so if you earn more than this then you won't be able to claim it anyway.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    Thanks. I do a bit more research tonight based off the knowledge I have received off here & see where it takes me. I'll probably just do it through my UC account as like you say my dad isn't linked to us in that regard & we won't lose money from it (quite the opposite) so it seems the logical way to go forward.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    The above advice is assuming your dad isn't claiming Severe disability premium in another benefit. If he does and you claim either CA or Carers element then he will lose the SDP.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    The above advice is assuming your dad isn't claiming Severe disability premium in another benefit. If he does and you claim either CA or Carers element then he will lose the SDP.
    No my dad isn't getting anything other than Attendance Allowance at present so shouldn't be a problem getting CA.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,855 Disability Gamechanger
    lelboy123 said: So can I just put in a claim for Carers Allowance outside of my UC side of things? I fully understand I will only get one payment of £163.73 however I tackle it. 
    That isn't correct.
    You need to report to UC that you are a carer regardless of whether or not you claim CA.
    Your maximum UC amount will then include the carer element (provided you are not getting the LCWRA element yourself already).
    If you claim Carer's Allowance you will get paid that separately and your UC will go down.

    If you just do UC then the UC goes up by £163.73.
    If you claim CA the combine total of UC and CA will be £163.73 higher than existing UC.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    calcotti said:
    lelboy123 said: So can I just put in a claim for Carers Allowance outside of my UC side of things? I fully understand I will only get one payment of £163.73 however I tackle it. 
    That isn't correct.
    You need to report to UC that you are a carer regardless of whether or not you claim CA.
    Your maximum UC amount will then include the carer element (provided you are not getting the LCWRA element yourself already).
    If you claim Carer's Allowance you will get paid that separately and your UC will go down.

    If you just do UC then the UC goes up by £163.73.
    If you claim CA the combine total of UC and CA will be £163.73 higher than existing UC.
    Thanks for your reply. Ok so by going the way you say if I update UC about me now caring for my dad my wife's & mine UC will go down. We will still get the payment for carers allowance of £163.73 but it will be separate? All I care about it we don't lose money from this some how. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 12
    No, your UC will not go down if you don't claim carers allowance. If you just claim Carers element it will go up by £163.73 per month.
    To claim Carers element you need to report the changes onto your journal as advised.
    If you want to claim Carers Allowance you need to do this separately. https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
    Your UC will go down if you claim carers allowance as well. Overall, regardless of what you do, you will be £163.73 better off.

  • lelboy123
    lelboy123 Member Posts: 29 Listener
    No, your UC will not go down if you don't claim carers allowance. If you just claim Carers element it will go up by £163.73 per month.
    To claim Carers element you need to report the changes onto your journal as advised.
    If you want to claim Carers Allowance you need to do this separately. https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
    Your UC will go down if you claim carers allowance as well. Overall, regardless of what you do, you will be £163.73 better off.

    Thanks. Sorry the message from the other poster threw me a bit. I will do it through our UC account online as there is a specific section where you can apply for the carers element. Makes sense to do it that way as it should be easier. Thanks for clarifying.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    I think what's happening is you're getting confused between them both. Carers element is paid through UC and is £163.73 per month. You do not need to claim Carers Allowance to be entitled to this.
    Carers Allowance is not through UC it is claimed separately through the link i posted above and is £67.60 per week and is paid separately to UC but it is also deducted in full from UC.

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