DWP sending 'alert' to millions of people who have earned 'over threshold'

The Department for Work and Pensions will send "earnings" alerts to peple who are earning over a threshold, it has emerged. The DWP will send alerts to claimants who earn over £151 a week which is a Carer's Allowance threshold.

Mel Stride, the DWP minister, said: "There are issues with Carer’s Allowance that, as a benefit, has been around in one form or another for many decades, in fact back to the 1970s. An element of that problem hinges upon the threshold, which is currently an earnings threshold of £151 per week as a kind of proxy for establishing whether somebody is in gainful employment or not because, of course, the benefit is there for those who are caring for 35 hours per week.

"It is very important that somewhere within the mechanism of Carer's Allowance there is that particular element." He added: ''Part of the problem of course has arisen over this issue of notification and whether sufficient notification has been provided to people who may have found themselves in excess of that threshold, for whatever reason.

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"Of course, we do notify people at the point that they sign up for this benefit - and given that these people are doing such extraordinary work up and down the country, often described as unsung heroes, it is important that we provide this benefit.

"What we have also been doing are the alerts called VEP Alerts, which allow us to get a fix on the amount of income that is coming in to the individual. Hitherto we have been using an algorithm to try to establish within that data those who are most likely to be over the threshold, meaning that they do not qualify for the benefit."

You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets certain criteria, the DWP says on its website.