What benefits you are entitled to when caring for a family member

Caring for a relative.
Caring for a relative.

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

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 your mother goes into hospital.
As Income Support is a means-tested benefit, your payments would increase while your Carer’s Allowance is not in payment.

Therefore you would actually receive Income Support at the same rate, as Income Support and Carer’s Allowance usually are as a combined payment.
The result will mean that you will not be worse off financially than on the current payments being received.
For further information and advice on any issue, check out the Citizens’ Advice website to find your local branch who will be able to guide you on any questions you may have regarding benefits you may be entitled to.