Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are looking after someone with substantial caring needs. Around 240,000 people in the UK claim the allowance each year.
However, according to Carers UK, £1.1 billion of Carer’s Allowance goes unclaimed every year and 42% of carers have missed out on financial support as a result of not getting the right information earlier.
This week the Department for Work and Pensions launched a new online service, aimed at simplifying the process of claiming the allowance.
The service can be accessed on any device, so carers can claim via their phone or tablet as well as at a computer. In developing the new system, the process has been made less time consuming, with the number of questions almost halved in number.
Minister of State for Disabled People, Mark Harper, said: “Carers provide an invaluable service to people in some of the most vulnerable circumstances in our communities. We spend around £2 billion on Carer’s Allowance and are committing even more in the future. A simpler and quicker online system for claiming the benefit is extremely welcome news for those whose time is overwhelmingly dedicated to looking after others.”
For those that are not able to use the online service, an assisted digital option will always be available. This could include, for example, using DWP’s Jobcentre Plus offices as drop-in centres to complete the service alongside Carer’s Allowance experts who can offer internet access and personal support.