Skip to content

Carers First is joining other carer organisations to urge the Government to protect carers who are at risk of punitive punishments for minor, and often inadvertent, breaches of the Carer’s Allowance rules. 

As has been reported this week, thousands of unpaid carers are facing huge repayment bills after being overpaid on their Carer’s Allowance benefit.  

Carer’s Allowance is currently worth £81.90 a week. Carers can still receive this benefit if they work, but there is an earnings limit of £151 a week There is no taper. Once the limit is passed the benefit is stopped completely. 

Overpayments have occurred when a carer earns over this £151 a week limit, even if only by a small amount. Many carers were unaware they had breached the earnings limit or believed they had notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) correctly, which meant overpayments have been left to accrue and the DWP are using the courts to recover. 

Carer’s Allowance overpayments currently affect 145,000 unpaid carers, with 
around 12,000 of these cases being for over £5,000. There has been significant media coverage about this over the previous week.  

Alison Taylor, Chief Executive at Carers First, said:  

“Clearly, there are wider issues about the amount paid to carers through Carer’s Allowance, and how the process of carers informing the Department of Work and Pensions is handled.

For now, it is important that the government stops this heavy-handed enforcement. It is in nobody’s interest for carers to be punished in this way when what they need is more support.” 

Carers UK are collecting the evidence they need to argue for changes to be urgently made by the Government and Carers First is asking carers to support this by sharing their experiences of dealing with overpayments so that they can put together a dossier of carers’ experiences. This will be anonymised.   

If you have an experience to share, you can complete the Carers UK survey by clicking the button link below.

Complete Carers UK Survey

Online Help and Advice

Visit our online support section where we have provided advice and guidance on a range of relevant topics to help you in your caring role.

Online support