UC/CA Payment Disparity

Good Morning All,

A Little Background:

New to both this forum and F/T caring, i live with & care for my mother 24/7 (in Scotland) she is in declining health (slowly) so i finished up University (i was failing anyway) and became full time carer for my ill mother. I cannot go for F/T or even P/T work for obvious reasons so applied for Universal Credit (UC) & Carers Allowance (CA) to ease the financial burden.

When I applied for UC i was told i would get the standard element + carers element, i was also advised the carers element would be removed once Carers Allowance started. However what they did not tell me was that the CA would be taken from the gross amount, which is Standard Element + Carers Element (CE) = Gross Amount, they remove the CA from the gross amount and not just simply remove carers element. So the disparity between CA & CE is in fact taken from the Standard Element so im left with a smaller UC payment + CA, can this be challenged? it doesn’t seem right somehow.

Hi Alan, welcome to the forum.
I’m not able to comment about the benefits side of things, but might be able to help in other ways.
It’s also a bit more complicated as your are in Scotland.
How old is mum, what is the matter with her?
Another really important issue is whether she owns or rents her home?
Does she have over about £23,000 in savings (Yes/No)
Are you an only child?

Hello Alan

Welcome to the Forum. I’ve shared your question with our Helpline advisers and will post their response within this topic/thread within the next few days.

Wishing you well


Hi im going to start claiming carer’s allowance, my grandma is 79 and is on state pension and PIP, my biggest concern is will her benefits be affected if i claim carer’s allowance,


Good morning Alan

One of our Helpline advisers has provided the following response to your question regarding Universal Credit and Carer’s Allowance:

Thank you for getting in touch with Carers UK. Carer’s Allowance is an income replacement benefit and it is counted as an income in the calculation of entitlement to means-tested benefits. This applies to Universal Credit which is a means-tested benefit. You cannot challenge this decision, it is a ‘benefit rule’. However, the Carer Element should remain factored in the Maximum Credit. It cannot be removed. If it has been removed you can challenge the fact that JCP has removed the Carer Element.

Let me summarise what your entitlement to Universal Credit should be.

If you are under 25 years old:

Maximum Credit
Standard Allowance £342.72
Carer Element £162.92
Maximum Credit £505.64 / month

Unearned Income
Carer’s Allowance £291.41 [this is £67.25 x 52 weeks / 12 months]

Universal Credit Payable
Maximum Credit - Unearned Income = £505.64 - £291.41 = £214.23 / month payable in arrears

If you are 25 years old or over, the Maximum Credit will be different as the standard allowance applicable in the calculation will be £409.89 / month. So once you have adjusted all the figures, your entitlement to Universal Credit would be: £281.40 / month

I hope this helps to answer your question.