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Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th May 2020.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to provide welfare support to people with carers having to shield themselves during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

DWP has now introduced two important temporary measures to help unpaid carers through the current emergency:

  • unpaid carers will be able to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus or if either have to isolate because of it. (Under normal rules there are restrictions on breaks in care, but these have been lifted.); and
  • providing “emotional support” (rather than just more traditional forms of care) to a disabled person will also now count towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week. This recognises that the nature of caring might have to change during the current emergency.

If there are particular circumstances that mean that someone who was providing care for a disabled person ceases to be paid Carer’s Allowance or the Universal Credit carer element, then, depending on their circumstances and the benefits they claim, the disabled person may be able to receive an additional amount of benefit, specifically designed to help with the costs of care.

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