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Carer’s Allowance Recent Changes

While the Carer’s Allowance is a program that many people support, there is some understandable nervousness because of recent talks about changes to this program. Many people want to know what the changes are, and how are they going to affect both the caregivers who currently are covered under this program? There are a lot of questions about the overhauls going on, although the goal is to somewhat simplify the system and make it easier for everyone to use when remaining economically viable – not to destroy it or dismantle it or anything similar.

So in simple language what has changed?
The first thing to note is that the Allowance for 2013-2014 has been set at the amount of 59.75 British Pounds per week for the caregiver. This amount may stay the same or it may change in the future, and the full amount paid can vary depending on if the person being watched over receives PIP benefits or not.

Because of budget constraints individuals watching adult dependents who still can receive increases for their partner can expect that to stop in 2020. Individuals who started with Carer’s Allowance in 2010 or after already don’t qualify.

There are very specific rules now also relating to income and where the cut off markers are for when a person can qualify for this caregiver support and when he or she cannot. These limits vary based on how the income is earned, what the amount is, and if there are other government programs and aid being involved.

These have been the bigger changes, with most of the discussion about longer term changes set to come into effect in later years or even a decade from now.

For more information:
http://www.ageuk.org.uk/documents/en-gb/factsheets/fs55_carer’s_allowance_fcs.pdf?dtrk=true

What is the Universal Credit?
The Universal Credit is set up to be a simple all inclusive credit that is going to take the place of seven other credits that are currently administered through the government. In this case the Carer’s Allowance is not one of them, however an individual who collects this in addition to other benefits may find their overall claim situation changed or altered.

There has been a lot of talk about major changes taking place, and while there are some long term shifts being made in many programs, most of the Carer’s Allowance changes will happen years or decades into the future. For more detailed information on this, take a look at:

http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/focus-on/item/2479-changes-to-benefits-your-questions-answered

In conclusion
There are many changes going on with social programs right now, but not a lot of those changes directly affect the Carer’s Allowance. Indirectly there is a lot to look at, especially for individuals who rely on more than one program. It’s in the interactions between multiple aid programs where things may be a little different and some extra guidance can help.

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What Do You Get with Carer’s Allowance?

The Carer’s Allowance is a social program overseen by the Department of Human Services that provides weekly stipend checks to aid individuals who spend 35 hours a week or more helping out individuals who require additional living support including the frail elderly, seriously ill, or the mentally challenged. This is a popular program that rewards individuals taking the time and effort to really care for others who need that help.

While the actual amount that people receive can change from year to year or may vary slightly based on location and other factors, but the aid is there to help those who are taking the time to help others who need it most. So the question for many good Samaritans is simple: what do you get with a Carer’s Allowance?

The basics of Carer’s Allowance
The basics of how a Carer’s Allowance works are pretty simple. While the numbers can vary slightly based on territory or can change over time, as of 2013 the average Carer’s Allowance is going to be 59.75 Pounds a week. This money is paid directly to the caregiver to help them with the expenses that will naturally arise from taking care of another individual and helping to meet their needs.

This income is taxable and can sometimes affect a person’s claims to other benefits. On the other hand taking a Carer’s Allowance does not necessarily prevent the claim of any other social programs. Each individual situation will be different in that case.

Collecting Carer’s Allowance
There are actually a few different options when it comes to getting paid what’s owed to you. There is an option to get paid weekly, and there are plans for bulk payments every 4 weeks or every 13 weeks. This gives some options to the caregiver to decide the best way to manage the money to help out with the actual care giving. Payment is made directly into a bank account.

Are there any additional benefits that come with a Carer’s Allowance?
There aren’t any additional benefits. The main purpose is to provide that weekly or bulk infusion of cash in order to help out with the expenses that come with caring for someone who needs that additional support. The frail elderly, mentally challenged, or severely ill will have needs and expenses to help live a fully functional life and those expenses are what are aimed at with a Carer’s Allowance.

In conclusion
A Carer’s Allowance is acknowledgement of the good work some people undertake to help others, and to attempt to offer enough financial aid and assistance to encourage that work to continue. While the weekly amounts may change in the future, this popular program is sure to continue. For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

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Taxes and the Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance in the UK is paid to those who care for individuals with disabilities or illnesses. It is a fixed maximum amount of £59.75 each week. However, the benefits that you already receive, as well as the benefits that the person you are caring for is receiving, may cause your Carer’s Allowance benefits to be lower than that each week. Taxes can also play a role in the amount of Carer’s Allowance you receive. For that matter, receiving Carer’s Allowance can also have an impact on your tax benefits and payments.

Subtracting Taxes When Determining Carer’s Allowance Amounts

You can only receive weekly Carer’s Allowance benefits if you are earning no more than £100 per week. However, that amount is after certain deductions. Those deductions include National Insurance (NI) payments, 50 percent of your contributions to pensions, and your income tax payments. So, in that instance your tax payments may actually help you to qualify for Carer’s Allowance assistance.

If you happen to be self-employed, you may also be entitled to certain extra tax deductions that could help you to qualify for weekly Carer’s Allowance benefits. Expenses that have to be paid because of your home business can be included as tax deductions. Those expenses could include anything from a computer to an extra telephone line.

In any of those cases, your deductions, pension payments, and NI payments will be added up. They will then be deducted from your weekly income. If the remainder is no greater than £100 per week and you meet other eligibility requirements, you can collect Carer’s Allowance.

Receiving Carer’s Allowance and Paying Taxes or Receiving Tax Benefits

The £59.75 or less each week that you will receive as a Carer’s Allowance benefit is not taxable by itself. The amount is too low. However, Carer’s Allowance does count as taxable income when combined with other earnings. Those earnings could include any of the following:

a) Earnings from a Part-Time Job

b) State Pension Earnings

c) Bereavement Allowance

On the other hand, your Carer’s Allowance and other income may be offset by certain tax benefits. It all depends on what forms of government assistance you and the person you are caring for are each receiving. For example, if you are already receiving other government benefits, your Carer’s Allowance may be lower, which will then lower your total taxable income. Some programs may also entitle you to tax refunds. For instance, you may receive tax refunds or other benefits, including a Council Tax Reduction or Housing Benefit. You could also receive a “Carer Premium,” in addition to your weekly Carer’s Allowance.

The person you are taking care of may find that their tax credits are also affected by your receipt of Carer’s Allowance. So, you should be aware of that before you sign up for Carer’s Allowance. For more information on taxes and the Carer’s Allowance benefits program, visit https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance.

 

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Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card (Australia)

The Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card is a health care card given to Australian residents who meet the requirements for the card. It can help you to afford your medications, and it may offer you other added benefits.

Ex-Carer Allowance Card Requirements

The Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card is also sometimes called the Ex-Carer Allowance (Child) Health Care Card. That is because one of the primary requirements for receiving it is that you need to have a Carer Allowance Health Care Card at the time that you turn 16 years old. In other words, someone needs to have been claiming that they were your caregiver at that time. If you did not have such a card at that time, you cannot qualify for the Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card.

There are also a few other requirements that you will have to meet in order to receive this particular form of Australian health care card. For example, you must prove that you are an Australian resident and, in most cases, you must also prove that you have been a resident of the country for at least two years prior to applying for the Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card. You must also be pursuing your education on a full-time basis, and you must be at least 16 years old, but no older than 25.

Benefits of the Ex-Carer Allowance Card

The benefits of the Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card are also known as concessions or entitlements. One of those key benefits is that having the card can entitle you to discounts on the medications that you need. Those discounts are part of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). For more information about PBS, visit http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/medicare/pharmaceutical-benefits-scheme.

Other card holder benefits and concessions may be available to you, if you have an Australian Health Care Card of any type, including Ex-Carer Allowance. However, the benefits may vary from one state or territory to another. Some of those benefits include discounted medical care, as well as discounts on transportation.

Claiming or Renewing Your Ex-Carer Allowance Card

If you want to claim an Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card, you first need to visit http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/ex-carer-allowance-child-health-care-card/claiming and file an intent to claim on the website. You can also visit any Department of Humans Services (DHS) Service Centre or call them on the phone to make a claim.

It is important to note that your Ex-Carer Allowance Health Care Card will only be valid for one year. Near the end of that year, you will receive a notice about renewing your card. You can apply to do so, as long as your residency and full-time student status have not changed, and as long as you are still 25 years old or younger. For more information about claiming or renewing a card, visit http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/ex-carer-allowance-child-health-care-card/claiming.

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Carer’s Allowance Reform

If you live in the UK and you currently care for a handicapped individual, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance benefits, which is a weekly benefit paid to caregivers. However, starting in 2013, the government is beginning to make some major changes to its benefits systems. That includes some major Carer’s Allowance Reform.

The New PIP Qualification and Carer’s Allowance Benefits

If the person you are caring for was receiving a Disability Living Allowance (DLA), they will now receive a new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) as a replacement for that. The old DLA system consisted of three rates, depending on a person’s circumstances. The PIP system only has two.

People will now be assessed to see if they qualify for either level of PIP benefits. If the person your care for does qualify, you should be eligible for Carer’s Allowance benefits as their caregiver. That conversion only applies to working-age citizens of the UK that are new claimants. Existing claimants may not be transferred to the new system right away.

Receiving Standard Carer’s Allowance Benefits

If you are receiving standard Carer’s Allowance benefits of £59.75 each week, your benefits will probably stay the same, despite the new Carer’s Allowance Reform changes. Originally, the government was going to incorporate Carer’s Allowance benefits into the new Universal Credit system, but they changed that plan when several caregivers complained that the system would be unfair.

Carer’s Allowance Reform and Means-Tested Benefits

Some caregivers were already receiving Carer’s Allowance benefits after undergoing a means test. If you are one of those people, your benefits will be transferred from Carer’s Allowance to the new Universal Credit system. That will allow you to seek part-time employment without your benefits being entirely cut.

Carer’s Allowance Reform and State Pensions

Under the previous Carer’s Allowance system, some people who received State Pensions could not qualify for Carer’s Allowance, but they could qualify for other, similar benefits. That extra benefit will now come in the form of a flat rate of £33.30 each week, which is known as the “Carer Addition.”

Under the new Carer Allowance Reform, elderly citizens may also have to wait longer to receive Pension Credit benefits. Couples who live together must each reach retirement age before either one of them can make a claim as part of the new system. However, the good news is that they can now directly claim Pension Credit, rather than having to apply for Carer’s Allowance first.

Additional Carer’s Allowance Reform Information

Those are some of the primary ways in which your Carer’s Allowance benefits could be changed by the new reforms. However, the new system also includes a few other changes. It’s important to familiarize yourself with all of those changes in order to make sure that you receive the benefits that you expect and need. So, if you would like to learn more about the new changes, visit http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/focus-on/item/2479-changes-to-benefits-your-questions-answered

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Carer’s Allowance in Wales

Carer’s Allowance in Wales

Carer’s Allowance in Wales is given to those who spend more than 35 hours each week caring for someone with a disability or other needs requiring a carer. A similar Carer’s Allowance benefit is distributed to carers all across Northern Ireland and the UK.

Qualifying for Carer’s Allowance in Wales

The process for qualifying for Carer’s Allowance in Wales is similar to the qualifying process across the UK. You have to meet certain requirements. Those requirements are:

a) You have to be 16 years old or older.

b) You have to be someone’s caregiver for a minimum of 35 hours every week.

c) You have to live in Wales, somewhere else in the UK, or Northern Ireland for at least 2 years or be a sponsored immigrant.

d) You have to be in Wales or another part of the UK when you actually file your Carer’s Allowance claim with the government.

The person you are caring for also needs to meet certain requirements in order for you to qualify for Carer’s Allowance in Wales. Aside from being a resident of Wales, the person must receive government assistance in the form of Personal Independence Payments, a Constant Attendance Allowance, an Attendance Allowance or another similar program.

You should note that you cannot receive Carer’s Allowance in Wales if you are a full-time student. You also may not receive Carer’s Allowance at all, or may receive a lower Carer’s Allowance benefit than you otherwise would, if you are already receiving other government benefits, such as an Industrial Death Benefit, Incapacity Benefit, or Bereavement Allowance.

Filing for Carer’s Allowance in Wales

If you think that you do qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you will need to file a claim. You can download the claim form online at http://business.wales.gov.uk/govuk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim. Then you simply need to fill it out online or print it, fill it out, and mail it in through the postal service.

Once you complete the claims process, your application will be reviewed. That process can take several weeks. So, you will need to be patient until your status is verified.

Reporting Changes in Your Carer’s Allowance Status

Even if you do qualify for Carer’s Allowance benefits, that qualification could change at any time. If your circumstances suddenly change, you need to report that to the Carer’s Allowance Unit. They can then judge whether you are still eligible for Carer’s Allowance or not. For instance, if you obtain a new job then you may no longer qualify for benefits. The same may be true if you suddenly inherit money or have some other new income source.

The Carer’s Allowance Unit, which can be contacted at http://business.wales.gov.uk/govuk/carers-allowance-unit, may also be able to help you obtain and fill out a form, or answer any questions that you may have about filing for Carer’s Allowance in Wales.

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Carer’s Allowance in Ireland

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit given to those who care for disabled or sick individuals. If you are a caregiver, it’s possible that you may be able to receive Carer’s Allowance in Ireland. You can use those benefits to help you with daily living expenses.

Carer’s Allowance Requirements for the Disabled Person

In order for you to qualify for Carer’s Allowance in Ireland, the person you care for must meet certain requirements. First, they must not have another caregiver who is also claiming Carer’s Allowance benefits. Second, they themselves must be receiving benefits from at least one other government program. Some of those programs include Constant Attendance Allowance with War Disablement Pension, Attendance Allowance, and Disability Living Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance Requirements for the Caregiver

If you are the caregiver who is applying for Carer’s Allowance in Ireland, you must also meet certain requirements. For example, you must care for the person in question for at least 35 hours each week. You must also be at least 16 years old.

In order to receive Carer’s Allowance in Ireland, you must also be able to prove that you are a resident of Ireland, or that you were a resident for at least 26 weeks out of the previous year. You must also make the claim while you are in the country. However, there are a couple of possible exceptions to that rule. For instance, you may still qualify if you are not living in the country, but you or the person you are caring for is part of the Armed Forces. You may also qualify if you live in Switzerland or somewhere within the European Economic Area (EEA).

Carer’s Allowance and Your Employment Status

You can be employed at another job and still collect Carer’s Allowance in Ireland. However, there are strict employment and earnings requirements. One of those requirements is that your earnings must not be greater than £100 after acceptable expenses. Those expenses may include the following:

a) Work Expenses

b) Payments for National Insurance (NI)

c) Income Tax Payments

d) Portions of Pension Scheme Payments

Claiming Carer’s Allowance in Ireland

The first step of claiming Carer’s Allowance in Ireland is figuring out which form you need to fill out. There are two primary Carer’s Allowance forms. One is the standard form, while the other is for those who are receiving State Pension payments. You can download either form, along with helpful notes, by visiting http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/carers-allowance-how-to-claim?source=most-popular. You can also get the form at any local Social Security office.

Carer’s Allowance in Ireland can also be claimed by telephone. Simply call the Benefit Enquiry Line at 0800 22 06 74. You can also get more information about Carer’s Allowance benefits by visiting http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/caring-for-someone/money-matters/carersallowance/carers-allowance-introduction.htm.

 

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Carer’s Allowance and Welfare Reform

The Carer’s Allowance system in the UK is undergoing some major changes in 2013. Those changes will continue next year as well. Understanding Carer’s Allowance and Welfare Reform can help you to figure out which benefits you will still be entitled to, as a carer.

Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit

One of the biggest concerns about Carer’s Allowance and Welfare Reform was the creation of the new Universal Credit system. The Universal Credit program will theoretically allow people to receive government benefits while still being able to hold jobs on a part-time basis. However, critics of Universal Credit have raised concerns that the system is flawed and it will actually make getting part-time work pointless because earnings will reduce benefits, essentially keeping people who receive Universal Credit from making any money by working.

Means-Tested Carer’s Allowance

Many carers were concerned that Carer’s Allowance would be incorporated into Universal Credit, which would mean that all people applying for Carer’s Allowance would have to submit to a means test. Thousands of people would not necessarily qualify to keep receiving their Carer’s Allowance benefits, if that happened. So, they were able to breathe a sigh of relief when it was determined that the standard Carer’s Allowance benefits program would remain separate from the Universal Credit program.

Carer’s Allowance Transference to Universal Credit

Although standard Carer’s Allowance benefits were not incorporated into Universal Credit, many UK residents were already receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, or other means-tested premium benefits. Those people, which totaled about 250,000 were transferred to the new Universal Credit system.

The people who were transferred to the Universal Credit system will be able to earn more, in theory, since they will be able to work part-time while not having their Universal Credit benefits cut. So, it could actually be beneficial to those people.

Carer’s Allowance and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Another concern for Carer’s is that, beginning in 2013, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is being phased out. Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is replacing the DLA system. If the person you are taking care of receives either of the two daily living components of PIP benefits, you will be able to claim Carer’s Allowance for taking care of them, as long as you meet the other Carer’s Allowance eligibility requirements, such as age and residency.

As of April of 2013, the residency requirement for receiving Carer’s Allowance benefits in the UK was changed. Now “habitual residence” must be proven. You must show that you have been a resident of the UK for at least two out of three of the previous three years in order to make a Carer’s Allowance claim. For more information on these changes, as well as other Carer’s Allowance and welfare reform issues, visit http://www.carersuk.org/newsroom/item/737-welfare-reform-bill-and-carers-allowance

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