The soaring cost-of-living, along with ever increasing energy bills, is putting a strain on finances this year.

Many are looking for ways to tighten their purse strings or looking for extra sources of income.

If you are a carer, you could be entitled to more money than you are currently receiving, as well as a Christmas bonus.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can give more than £3,000 a year extra to carers who meet certain criteria.

In order to receive the additional £69.70 a week, carers must be at least 16 years old and spend a minimum of 35 hours a week caring for someone.

You must be a resident of England, Scotland or Wales, and have earnings of £132 or less after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

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However, the payment is not means-tested, and therefore not based on your personal income or savings.

The person you are caring for must also be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Disablement Benefit Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Child/Adult Disability Payment
  • Attendance Allowance

A Christmas bonus is also available to those in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance.

Those eligible will receive a cash boost of £10 from the DWP.

Although it is a relatively a small amount, it will not need to be repaid and will not affect any other benefits you may receive.

The Christmas bonus will be paid automatically so there is no need to claim, and the payment will be received before Christmas.

The Christmas cash boost will be paid directly into the same bank account where benefit payments are usually paid.

If you’re unsure whether you have received the payment, it should show up in your bank statement as “DWP XB” or something similar over the festive period.