Carer's allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit paid to anyone who spends 35 hours a week or more caring for an individual who is disabled. This benefit is not means-tested.

This means it is not based on any other income you (the carer) may receive, nor will it affect your national insurance. While the benefit is taxable, you as the carer will only have to pay tax if you have other forms of taxable income.

Carer’s Allowance may, however, have an effect on other means-tested benefits that the person you are caring for is receiving.

For example, if the person you are caring for is receiving the severe disability premium of a means-tested benefit, then they will stop receiving these payments if you begin receiving Carer’s Allowance. In effect, the Carer’s Allowance will replace this payment.

What are the benefits?

The benefit allocated for Carer’s Allowance is currently paid at £67.60 per week.

Am I eligible?

You may be eligible to receive Carer’s Allowance if you look after an individual who is receiving one or more of the qualifying disability benefits

  •  The daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment
  •  Attendance Allowance
  •  Constant Attendance Allowance paid at the normal maximum rate with the  industrial injuries or War Pensions   Scheme
  •  Armed Forces Independence Payment
  •  The care component of the Disability Living Allowance paid at the highest or  middle rate.

The following conditions also apply:

  • You must look after that person for at least 35 hours a week. This is calculated from Sunday to Saturday.
  • You must be over the age of 16.
  • You cannot be enrolled in full-time education.
  • You cannot earn more than £110 a week, after deductions.
  • You must have lived in Scotland or England for two of the last three years.

You may not be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you are receiving one or more of the following benefits (unless the amount received equals less than what you would be entitled to through Carer’s Allowance):

  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • contribution-based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Bereavement or Widow Benefits
  • Maternity/Paternity Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • State Pension.                              

If you are receiving any of the above benefits, but otherwise qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you may be entitled to receive a carer premium, carer addition, or carer element, worth £34.60 per week

Are there any exceptions?

Pensions

  • If you are of the age to receive a State Retirement Pension, you may not be able to receive Carer’s Allowance. However, you will remain entitled to this benefit and could receive an additional Carer’s Allowance in your pension credit.
  • In other words, if your State Retirement Pension equals less than your Carer’s Allowance benefit, then you may receive a reimbursement to support the difference.
  • Alternatively, if you are caring for your partner, who receives a State Pension with an additional benefit given to you, you can still claim the allowance. Changes will be made, however, to the amount your partner receives.

What information do I need to claim?

  • The address and date of birth of the individual you are caring for.
  • Your national insurance number.
  • Your bank or building society information.

How can I claim?

In England, Scotland and Wales:

  • Go to www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim and fill out the form online, or alternatively you can download and complete the form
  •  Call the benefit enquiry line on 0800 220 674  
  •  Call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321
  •  Contact your local Jobs and Benefits office           

In Northern Ireland:

  • Request a claim pack from the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 028 9090 6186              

Further support

Carer's UK: www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support/help-with-benefits/carers-allowance

GOV UK: www.gov.uk/carers-allowance