Published On: Fri, Jun 3rd, 2022

Carers could get £169 top-up every month outside of Carer’s Allowance | Personal Finance | Finance


This top-up is available through the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit, which is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). With inflation sitting at nine percent and the cost of living crisis worsening, any extra cash could be vital for those families feeling the financial squeeze.

Both Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Element payments were hiked by 3.1 percent in line with last year’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate.

However the support provided by Carer’s Allowance may not be enough for many households.

If someone qualifies for Universal Credit, they may be able to get an extra amount because of their caring role. This is known as the ‘carer element’.

To claim the Carer’s Element, people must be caring for a severely disabled person for 35 hours a week or more.

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The person that is being looked after by an unpaid carer must be in receipt of certain qualifying benefits.

The qualifying benefit payments the person that is being cared for can claim include:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • The highest or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or Child Disability Payment 
  • The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment 
  • Attendance Allowance of £73.20 per week paid with Industrial Injuries Benefit or War Disablement Pension

As it stands, this particular Universal Credit element can be up to £168.81 per month depending on the claimant.

When it comes to calculating how much someone gets from the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance is considered a way of someone getting income.

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After their income is taken away from the maximum amount of Universal Credit someone is entitled to, the amount left will be the payment they receive from the DWP.

People who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance are able to apply for the Carer’s Element even if they do not claim Carer’s Allowance at all.

Applicants must inform the Universal Credit office that they are an unpaid carer using your online journal or calling if you are a telephone claimant.

Helen Walker, the chief executive of Carers UK, has warned that the current payment rate for benefits offered by DWP is not enough to help unpaid carers during the current financial crisis.

Ms Walker explained: “As the cost of living crisis piles on the stress and pressure on household finances across the UK, the below inflation increases to Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit are yet another blow for hard pressed carers.

“Many carers have a reduced capacity to work because of their caring responsibilities or have had to give up work altogether.

“Despite the majority of carers having taken on more care during the pandemic, which has protected our health and care systems, they face a real term cut in the level of financial support they receive. Carers do not deserve more hardship when they have done so much.”

It should be noted that an unpaid carer getting Universal Credit’s Carer’s Element could impact the benefits of the person they are looking after.

Carers could claim a financial top-up worth nearly £169 outside of the Carer’s Allowance payment via Universal Credit.

Carers are some of the worst hit by the ongoing cost of living crisis because they are often unable to work full time.



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