BENEFITS EXPERT: My mam’s going into hospital; will this affect my carer’s payment?

Q. I am caring for my mother who has spinal problems. She is going into hospital and is expected to be in for around six weeks.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:00 am
I am wondering about my Carer's Allowance payments as I will still be visiting her every day and doing jobs at home for her.
I am wondering about my Carer's Allowance payments as I will still be visiting her every day and doing jobs at home for her.

I understand that her disability benefits will stop after four weeks, but I am wondering about my Carer's Allowance payments as I will still be visiting her every day and doing jobs at home for her.

A. You are correct that your mother’s disability benefits will stop after four weeks of being in hospital; this is the case for Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance, unless paid for a child or someone who is terminally ill.

Unfortunately, your Carer's Allowance will also stop at the point that the disability benefit ceases to be paid. If you are receiving Income Support as a carer then you can continue to receive that for up to eight weeks after your Carer's Allowance ends, which would be 12 weeks in total from when she goes into hospital. As Income Support is a means tested benefit, your payments would increase while your Carer's Allowance is not in payment, so you would actually receive Income Support at the same rate as Income Support and Carer's Allowance usually are as a combined payment meaning that you will not be worse off.

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Q. I successfully claim Disablement Benefit for an industrial disease (pneumoconiosis) and have been told I can get additional compensation as a former mineworker. Is this correct and if I claim, will it affect the payments of Disablement Benefit?

A. Yes you can submit a claim under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979. You have met two of the four qualifying conditions i.e. a medical diagnosis and an award of Disablement Benefit for the condition.

The remaining conditions are the employer who you worked for and contracted the disease with are no longer trading and finally you have not commenced or already been awarded compensation through the courts.

You need to complete form PCW1 which is available online.

You must start the claim no later than 12 months from the date you were entitled to Disablement Benefit.

The amount of compensation awarded will depend on the percentage assessment for Disablement Benefit. The higher the assessment, the higher the award. Any compensation paid under the scheme is ignored for means-tested benefits and your Disablement Benefit would continue.