Just realised I haven't been paid carer's allowance for nearly a year

Feeling really stupid - I care for my husband who has ME and my two adopted children have extra needs. So, I am very busy looking after them all. I do some freelance work at home. I had carer’s allowance and assumed it was going into my bank account. As I had backdated DLA for my daughter, I had enough to pay bills from that account. I have only just set up online banking, checked today and realised that carer’s allowance stopped May 2023! I’ve phoned DWP today, to be told I should have sent forms back to renew last year - I didn’t receive any forms; I’ve checked. They are sending me some today for this year and last year. Will I be able to get this money backdated?

@Nic3108 I

According to Carers Uk website:

Yes, you may be able to arrange for Carer’s Allowance to be backdated for up to three months (as long as you met the conditions during this period).

You don’t have to give a reason for backdating your claim and you can request this on the claim form when asked the relevant question.

Carer’s Allowance – answers to your common questions | Carers UK.

However, it could be worth arguing you didn’t receive the forms. Worth contacting the Carers UK helpline or Citizens Advice Bureau for advice/help with this.

If they know you are a carer, and they send out a form that is never returned, surely they should send out a reminder?!

I’m so annoyed with myself for just thinking that the money was going in. I think I’ll follow your advice and contact Carers UK as I’m 100% sure I didn’t receive any forms. Thank you.

But if they don’t send out a form?

I have never heard of renewal forms for Carers Allowance. I’ve had family members who received CA for more than ten years without having one to complete.

You mentioned working freelance at home? Is it possible you went over the earnings limit and they stopped your payments then? That’s happened to me with casual work and DWP then categorised me as an “irregular” earner. When this happens they stop paying you regularly but instead send forms out for you to complete with all earnings before they make decision on paying you. It was an absolute pain - masses of paperwork, often seems to get lost, and I had to ring and chase about decisions which took months! But yes they did backdate and pay for the weeks owed.

Thank you - I didn’t go over the earnings limit but they have said they have to update my earnings (as I’m self employed) each year. I didn’t receive any forms. However, I received two lots of forms for 22-23 and 23-24 yesterday, which I have filled in and sent back. I am desperately hoping that I get everything I should have got.