William Eichler 20 May 2024

Unpaid carers forced to repay DWP over £250m

Unpaid carers forced to repay DWP over £250m   image
Image: William Barton / Shutterstock.com.

The Government requires unpaid carers to pay back more than £250m after thousands were unknowingly overpaid their allowance.

Paul Maynard MP from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last week confirmed that 134,800 people had a total outstanding Carers Allowance debt of £251m.

Unpaid carers who care for someone for more than 35 hours a week are entitled to receive the allowance.

However, they are only eligible if their earnings fall under the £151-a-week earnings limit.

Responding to a parliamentary question from Labour MP Sir Stephen Timms, Mr Maynard MP said that women make up most Carer’s Allowance claims.

There are currently 42,800 (32%) males, 91,900 (68%) females and 100 (less than 1%) not identified, with an outstanding Carers Allowance debt.

As of November 2023, there were over 991,000 people in receipt of Carers Allowance, nearly three quarters of whom are female.

A campaign by activists recently forced the DWP to publish a report on the experience of those claiming the Carers Allowance.

It found those who were forced to repay an overpayment could face 'financial difficulties' as well as 'worry and a sense of unfairness.'

The Carer’s Allowance scandal image

The Carer’s Allowance scandal

Government has a choice, says Kirsty McHugh of Carers Trust: continue to rely on the unpaid labour of millions or take action to give a fairer deal to carers.
The new Centre for Young Lives image

The new Centre for Young Lives

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.
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