An additional element - the Carer Element - is included in the claimant's maximum Universal Credit award where the claimant (or their partner) spends 35 hours a week or more caring for a severely disabled person / child.
A 'severely disabled person / child' means someone who gets:
- Mid or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance/Child Disability Payment, or
- A daily living component of Personal Independence Payment/Adult Disability Payment, or
- Armed Forces independence Payment, or
- Attendance Allowance, or
- Constant Attendance Allowance.
The Carer Element continues for as long as the carer satisfies the 'carer test' ie provides care for at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled person / child.
Where the claimant (or joint claimant ie partner) are entitled to it, it is included in their maximum UC award figure (2022/23 rates):
The Carer does not have to be getting Carers Allowance - although they are often told that they do!
Carers that also work can have a Carer Element included in their UC award regardless of the amount of their earnings.
Where the carer stops caring or the disabled person / child stops receiving one of the above benefits, then the Carers Element will come to an end from the beginning of the Monthly Assessment Period in which this change occurred.
No Carer Element will be included in the claimant's award where they are getting paid for caring for the severely disabled person.
What if the carer works?
As long as they meet the criteria ie they are providing regular and substantial care for a severely disabled person / child (ie 35 hours or more a week), then they can get a Carer Element included in their assessment of Universal Credit regardless of their earnings from work.