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DWP report on Carer's Allowance and overpayments shows urgent need for reform

A report by the Department for Work and Pensions published today (16th May) has shown the impact of Carer's Allowance and how some claimants are mistakenly breaching overpayment rules.

Reacting to the report, Ramzi Suleiman, Carers Trust's Policy and Public Affairs Manager, said:

“This report shows how tens of thousands of people are falling foul of the Carer’s Allowance overpayment rules, often through innocent mistakes. When resolving overpayments, some claimants felt they were antagonised or made to feel as though they were ‘cheats’. But it’s no surprise these errors are made when the benefit is so overly complex, outdated and in dire need of reform.

“The DWP says Carer’s Allowance provides financial support and recognition for people unable to work full time because of their caring responsibilities. This report shows Carer’s Allowance is failing on its own terms.

“Over half of claimants live in a household with an income of less than £21,000. Only 16% were working full time, struggling to get by on an insultingly low benefit which they can’t claim if they earn more than £151 a week. The report shows more than half of claimants were caring for a staggering 65 hours or more a week, while 40% had a health condition or illness themselves. It’s clear the Carer’s Allowance system simply isn’t doing its job for the UK’s hard-working unpaid carers. It needs an urgent overhaul.”


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