Money Wellness
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calendar icon03 Jun 2024

The Department for Work and Pensions will send ‘earnings alerts’ to carers

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is to trial sending "earnings" alerts to people who are earning over the £151 per week threshold.

Birmingham Live reports that around 1.3 million recipients will receive the message. It comes as thousands of carers have been forced to repay benefits after exceeding earning limits, with many unaware they had breached the rules.

Carer's allowance was introduced in the 1970s. To qualify you must earn under £151 per week after tax, national insurance, and expenses. Exceeding this amount results in having to repay all that week’s total carer’s allowance.

The £151 threshold is used to determine whether someone is in regular employment, as the benefit is for those caring for someone for at least 35 hours per week.

The DWP informs carers about the earnings limit when they first claim the benefit.

However, problems have occurred because carers aren’t notified when they exceed the threshold. This has resulted in £250 million of overpayments being made, which has affected 134,000 carers leaving them with £1,800 on average to repay.

To stop this from happening in the future, the DWP has said it will trial sending out text messages when it receives a Verify Earnings and Pensions (VEP) alert, to alert those claimants that they have breached the threshold.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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