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Carer’s Allowance

Overview

The Carer’s Allowance is £61.35 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.

You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You must be 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.

The Carer’s Allowance is taxable, and may also affect any other benefits you already receive.

What you’ll get

You can get £61.35 a week Carer’s Allowance.

You may also be able to claim other benefits – for example income-related benefit and Pension Credit.

Click here to use the official Benefit Calculator.

How you’re paid

You can choose to be paid either weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances must be paid in to an account (e.g. a bank account)

Effect on other benefits

Any means-tested benefits you get will be reduced by the same amount you get from Carer’s Allowance. This includes:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

An extra amount (called the ‘carer premium’) will be included in the calculation of your means-tested benefits. You might also be eligible for a council tax reduction.

Effect on tax credits

Your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit could be reduced if you get Carer’s Allowance. Contact the Tax Credits Office here.

Effects on the benefits of the person you care for

Carer’s Allowance can affect the benefits of the person you care for, if they get a severe disability premium with any of these benefits:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Their severe disability premium will stop if you get Carer’s Allowance for looking after them. It can also affect their Council Tax reduction. Contact your local council offices for more information.

Underlying entitlement

You can’t normally get 2 income-replacement benefits (e.g. Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension) paid together.

This is called the ‘overlapping benefit rule’. If you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because of this rule, you have ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance instead.

This might mean you could get:

  • the carer premiums in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support
  • the extra amount for carers in Pension Credit
  • the carer element in Universal Credit

Your State Pension

Usually, for each week you get Carer’s Allowance or the underlying entitlement you also get:

  • National Insurance credits
  • contributions to your Additional State Pension

Eligibility

You

You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if all of the following apply:

  • you’re 16 or over
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years*
  • you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales*, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
  • you’re not in full time education or studying for more than 21 hours a week
  • you earn less than £102 a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension)

* Rules are different in Northern Ireland

You might not get Carer’s Allowance if you already get one of these benefits*:

  • State Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Death Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • training allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement – paid with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension
  • War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

* You should still apply for Carer’s Allowance even if you get these as your benefits might be increased. It is worth a try!

The person you care for

The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

For details of eligibility and information on how to make a claim:

Learn more

 

About Marcia Garcia