Kirsten Oswald – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Kirsten Oswald on 2015-10-13.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what effect the introduction of universal credit will have on the income of those working in a job from which they derive net earnings of less than £110 per week and who are the principal carers for elderly relatives with a disability.

Priti Patel

Carer’s Allowance ceases when the claimant earns more than £110 a week. There is not a similar cliff-edge effect in Universal Credit. Carers who combine caring with paid work will continue to have the Carer Element included in the calculation of their overall award for as long as they provide care for at least 35 hours per week for a severely disabled person.

In Universal Credit, earned income by members of the household is subjected to a work allowance. Different amounts are disregarded from earnings in order to reflect the needs of different types of household and to support the aim that work pays. Carers are entitled to one of these work allowances depending on their family type, although there is not a work allowance specifically for carers.

Carers who combine work with caring will be able to earn up to their work allowance without their Universal Credit entitlement being affected. If earnings exceed that allowance then the Universal Credit award will reduce gradually as earnings increase.