Income support (IS) can be claimed by people who are not available for work or are not actively seeking a job. This is why if you are a carer, under 60 years old, and on a low income, you may be entitled to IS. It can be paid both as a sole form of income or as a ‘top up’ to other low income.
Visit DirectGov for more details and queries regarding income support, including any questions you may have if you're already claiming.
An encouraging nine out of ten families with children, and many more without, are entitled to some form of tax credits. Both the carer and the person being cared for may be entitled to tax credits depending on their circumstances. Two useful tax credits to be aware of are Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. Further information on these is given below.
You can find out if you qualify online via the Inland Revenue website.
Or visit Carers Direct for more information on Tax Credits.
Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit is a top-up benefit which is payable to the low-income carer of a child, (under the age of 16 or in some cases under the age of 20). The carer does not necessarily have to be the child's parent, but must be responsible for the child as their main carer. A carer can claim Child Tax alongside other benefits that he or she may be receiving. The higher the income of the carer, the less Child Tax Credit they will be entitled to.
For more details on Child Tax Credit, visit the Directgov website
Working Tax Credit
Working Tax Credit is a top-up benefit for low-income carers of a child (or children) as long as they work a minimum number of hours a week. It is not a tax allowance, but it's a non-taxable benefit. Working Tax Credit is also applicable on others – for more information visit the links below.
Details on Working Tax Credit can be found via:
The Inland Revenue: To find out if you qualify
Directgov benefits section: For an overview on tax credits, as well as the other benefits already discussed.
If you receive Carer's Allowance and are eligible to claim Income Support or Pension Credit, you may receive an extra amount, which is known as the Carers Premium, of up to £34.60 a week.
For more details, visit Carers UK's page on the Carers Premium.
The Citizen's Advice Bureau Adviceguide has Scotland specific information