Carer’s Allowance and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) are both state benefits for disabled people and those who care for them. The money can help towards the cost of care and promote independent living.
There are two components of PIP:
- a daily living component
- a mobility component
Each component can be paid at either:
Standard rate – where your ability to carry out daily living/mobility activities is limited by your physical or mental condition.
Enhanced rate – where your ability to carry out daily living/mobility activities is severely limited by your physical or mental condition.
To be able to claim PIP, you must have a long term health condition or disability that affects your ability to function as a person without your condition does in everyday life.
The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you in your own personal circumstances, not on what condition you have.
It can take up to four months from the date you started your application to when you get your money.
However, if you are terminally ill your claim will be processed quicker.
Who can claim Carer’s Allowance?
To be able to claim Carer’s Allowance, you must care for someone with a disability for at least 35 hours a week, and be able to prove this.
If you look after more than one disabled person, you cannot add together the separate hours you spend on each person, and you can only get one payment no matter how many people you care for.
If you are in paid work, including self-employment, you cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you earn more than £128 a week, after deductions.
Does Carer’s Allowance affect PIP?
Carer’s Allowance can affect other benefits you receive, but PIP is not one of them.
PIP can be paid regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contribution record and is a tax-free benefit.
You can get PIP even if you are working or studying.
When you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will stop getting:
- a severe disability premium paid with their benefits
- an extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, if they get one
They might also stop getting reduced Council Tax. You should contact their local council to find out if this affects them.
There are no restrictions on how you can spend your PIP money, and you do not have to spend it on paying for the care that you need.
However, your local council can take PIP payments into account when calculating how much you might need to pay for any care services.
During the coronavirus pandemic, you do not need to attend a face-to-face assessment meeting or health check.
What’s more, during the pandemic, providing emotional support to someone with a disability now counts towards the hours of care you list.