A client who cares for her partner has applied for Carer’s Allowance (CA). Although this has been awarded, all of the award has been deducted because her partner received Employment and Support Allowance. I know that CA is an overlapping benefit and expect this to apply to benefits they receive. Is this correct, because it doesn’t seem fair to penalise her because her partner isn’t fit for work? Has there been a successful challenge to this?
This shouldn’t have happened. What type of ESA is it - income-related or contributory?
If it’s income-related, then the CA would count as income and cause the ESA award to be reduced, but not by the full amount of the CA, as they should then receive the carers premium.
Thanks, Charles, especially for replying so quickly.
Partner receives IR ESA. CA claimant’s award letter states that she is entitled to £1,299.75 CA.
The total amount is deducted because partner received this amount of ESA IR during the period client was due CA.
There’s no mention of Carer’s Premium.
Would surely occur if the partner was claiming an addition of ESA for the partner, but…
Section 74 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and regulation 7 of the Social Security (Payments, Overpayments and Recovery) Regulations 1999 allow DWP to recover what would otherwise be overpaid benefits like ESA, IS and JSA when arrears of benefits such as Carer’s Allowance are awarded at some later point than the date of entitlement.
However, as Charles notes, the ESA award should have a carer’s premium included from the relevant date, so I suggest contacting DWP to ask for arrears of this to be paid to your client.
Thanks Mike and Paul. Yes, I’ll get onto the DWP.
From memory (and I haven’t worked at DWP for 16 years) there were two ways of dealing with the memo from CA Unit asking for the amount to be abated against arrears of CA due. Some people sent a reply asking for full abatement of the CA arrears and then paid arrears of the carer premium for that period. Others asked CA to abate the actual amount that would not have been paid had IS (or whatever) been paid with the carer premium but taking CA into account, so arrears would be paid by the CA Unit (which is probably the correct way to do it). Either way, someone should be paid. Obviously, there are cases where the calculation isn’t so straightforward - where CA previously awarded and ended - carer premium will already have been paid for 8 weeks after CA ended.