The government is today, 6 April 2015, increasing the Carer’s Allowance earnings limit from £102 to £110 a week. Contact a Family has been campaigning for this increase as part of a fairer deal for carers.
What is the earnings limit?
The earnings limit is the amount that a carer can earn before their Carer’s Allowance has to stop. This amount will now be £110 a week.
Derek Sinclair, welfare rights worker at Contact a Family, said:
“We are very pleased that the earnings limit is increasing to £110 per week as this will mean that parents who are working 16 hours on the national minimum wage will be able to get Carer’s Allowance. Previously, when the earnings limit was £102, these parents were likely to find that their earnings were slightly too high to qualify.
“We will also continue to press for the earnings limit to rise alongside any future increase to the national minimum wage.
“If a parent thinks that their earnings will still be slightly too high to get Carer’s Allowance they should call our free helpline to discuss whether there are any deductions that can be made from your earnings to help you qualify.”
How are your earnings calculated for Carer’s Allowance?
Only your own earnings are counted. If you have a partner who works their earnings are ignored.
In calculating your earnings, the Carer’s Allowance Unit can make certain deductions from your gross earnings. This includes not only any tax and national insurance you pay but also other deductions for:
- alternative care costs you have, for example if you are paying someone to look after your child whilst you are working. There is a cap on the maximum amount that can be deducted in this way – this is half of what would otherwise be your earnings. There is no requirement that the childcarer is a registered childcare provider. Costs can be be deducted so long as you pay someone other than a close relative
- 50 per cent of any pension contributions that you make into a work or personal pension scheme
- an amount for any expenses you have that are ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred’ in carrying out your work. For example if you have to buy equipment or specialist clothing or have to pay for travel between workplaces (travel between work and home does not count).