The government has updated guidance around carers receiving direct payments and carers allowance due to the current coronavirus situation.

Guidance for those receiving direct payments 

The Government has produced some guidance for those that receive support through direct payments.

Here in Wiltshire, the council has also produced some specific guidance for those receiving direct payments from them.

If you do receive a direct payment from Wiltshire Council to pay for support and care for your cared for but find yourself in a position where your support arrangements are unable to support you due to the wider impact of COVID-19 and you have no alternative arrangements available to you, please contact us on 0800 1814118 to discuss your situation. If needed, we will contact Wiltshire Council on your behalf.

Carers allowance

If you receive the Government’s carers allowance, there are a couple of changes that have happened as a results of the COVID crisis.

  • Providing emotional support counts towards the 35 hours threshold needed for receiving Carer’s Allowance. This applies to:
    • Carers who live in a different household from the disabled person and whose only contact with them is now going to be in the form of emotional support via the telephone and social media
    • New claims as well as for those already receiving Carer’s Allowance.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, new measures (from 30 March) also allow unpaid carers to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus or if they have to self-isolate because of it.
  • The government has decided to stop recovering overpayments for three months during this period. This includes benefit overpayments, tax credit debts or social fund loans. Although most deductions will be stopped automatically, if you have a standing order set up with your bank, you will need to contact them to stop the payments.

You can find more information around carers allowance and other benefits that may have changed due to coronavirus on the Carers UK website.

You may also find our blog on dealing with finances during coronavirus helpful.