The way earnings are treated is different across the benefits, but the majority of benefits do not have an earnings limit. Individuals can find general information on benefit eligibility at gov.uk, or they can speak to their local jobcentre staff and work coaches.
My constituent, a dedicated carer for a member of her family, was awarded carer’s allowance. She took on two small jobs to make up her earnings and to allow her to contribute to the community, while being careful to stay within the weekly and four-weekly earnings limits she had been advised of, so she was shocked to get a call telling her she had breached a monthly limit that she knew nothing about. Does the Minister think that laying that kind of tripwire for claimants is an appropriate way to deal with someone such as my constituent, who is trying her best to make a contribution to both her family and the community?
I would make two points. I am happy to look at the case, but when it comes to the carer’s allowance, we increased the earnings threshold in April 2015 by 8%. Importantly, this is about providing the right structured approach to support carers who want to work and get the balance right regarding their caring responsibilities.