Guernsey carers earning limits may be removed

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Moves to remove earnings limits and make disability benefit easier to claim have been welcomed by a Guernsey carer.

Currently carers lose their benefits if they earn more than the lower earning limit - £128 a week or £541.67 a month.

This will be replaced by an annual household earnings limit of £90,000 from 1 May, if the States approves.

Jenny Hooper, a carer for her 20-year-old daughter who has severe disability, said currently some carers had to turn down overtime and pay rises.

INVALID CARE ALLOWANCE

  • Can only be claimed by those caring for someone entitled to Attendance Allowance
  • The carer must spend at least 35 hours each week looking after the disabled person
  • They must be over 18 years of age and not in full-time education
  • The carer must not be receiving unemployment or an incapacity benefit

She said: "You do want to be able to perhaps work the extra hour or receive a pay rise like everybody else, but people haven't been able to afford to do that in the past.

"It's made them more financially worse off because they lose their benefit and they're still caring for their loved one for 35 hours and above."

She said the allowances were vital in allowing carers the chance to work as they needed someone to care for their loved one while they were at their jobs.

The plans also include remaining Attendance Allowance as Severe Disability Benefit and Invalid Care Allowance as renamed Carer's Allowance.

The qualifying rules for Severe Disability Benefit will remain the same, but the application form will be simplified.

Mrs Hooper said: "The name change is important, it will enable a better understanding of who this allowance is payable to."

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