These are the ways you can claim the Carer's Allowance:

- Online at the website.

- By completing an application form from the Carer's Allowance Unit. Forms are available in English, Welsh, Braille, large print or audio formats. The Unit's address is Carer's Allowance Unit, Palatine House, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HB. Telephone: 01253 856123. Textphone: 01772 562202.

- By calling the unit and requesting the form. Phone lines are open 9am-5pm from Monday to Thursday and 9am-4.30pm on Fridays.

The Unit also provides an interpreter service for those claimants whose first language is not English.

- By calling the Benefit Enquiry Line 0800 882 200. They will be happy to send a form and offer advice on how to complete it. The Benefit Enquiry Line is open 8.30am-6.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

- By visiting your local Jobcentre Plus office or Pension Centre.

- By downloading it from the Department of Work and Pensions website.

Completing the Form

The application form has 15 sections; take care to complete it as thoroughly and accurately as you can.

1. Information about you, the carer. Details like name, date of birth, address, phone number, National Insurance number etc.

2. Requesting the date from which you want to claim Carer's Allowance.

3. Concerns any previous claims for Carer's Allowance that you may have made. Here you will need to supply information about past successful or unsuccessful claims.

4. Concerns information about your spouse or partner if you have one. Name, nationality, date of birth, address and National Insurance number are all required.

5. Concerns the nature of the care you deliver and information about the individual for whome you are caring. Questions concern your relationship with the individual; if another person has claimed Carer's Allowance for the care previously; if You provide care to this person for at least 35 hours a week; any breaks in care since the date you want to claim from and in the 26 weeks prior to the date you want to claim from.

The invidual being cared for needs to sign this section and confirm that they are receiving care for a minimum of 35 hours a week. There is provision provided for someone to sign on their behalf if they are not able to do so themselves.

6. Concerns you may have spent outside the UK. Supply details about periods spent abroad with the person you care for. Only relevant is the period four weeks since the date from which you wish to claim. You must also provide information about any trips abroad outside the UK for more than 26 weeks in the last year.

7. Details are required as to whether you have been on a course of full-time education since the date from which you want to claim. You must specify the type of course, the school, college or university, along with its address, phone number, fax number, your student number and tutor's name.

8. This section requires information about work undertaken for an employer in the six months before the date from which you wish to claim. You need to supply your employer's details and provide details of your last pay and the number hours a week you work.

9. Concerns expenses associated with work. This section requires information about pension schemes you may pay into, plus details of other expenses necessary to do your job.

10. Details are required about any property letting income you may have since the week before the date from which you want to claim. You also need to supply information about whether you have paid Class 2 National Insurance since the week before the date you want to claim from.

11. This section asks about any self employed work you have undertaken. You also need to provide details of any payments made for childcare or to look after the person you normally care for, plus details of any payments you may have made to a personal or stakeholder pension.

12. Here you need to supply details of benefits, allowances, pensions or other entitlements you or your partner have claimed since the date from which you want to claim. You are asked if you have had income from Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Paternity Pay, Statutory Sick Pay, or Statutory Adoption Pay since the date from which you want to claim.

13. Here you you are asked how you like to receive the Carer's Allowance payments and details the account into which you would like the money paid.

14. This 'Other Information' section give you the opportunity to provide the Department of Work and Pensions which any other details which they might need to know about your claim for Carer's Allowance.

15. The final section is is the Declaration. Here you are required to sign to indicate that the information that you have given is correct.

It is important to give completion of the form time and careful consideration. Make sure your answers are factually accurate and thorough.

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