Carer’s Allowance

If you look after someone with a lot of care needs, you could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance is £62.70 a week.

You may be eligible if the person you care for receives Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

To qualify, you must be:

  • over 16
  • caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week
  • earning less than £116 a week.

You may also be able to get an extra payment called the carer premium added to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Housing Benefit.

If you are a carer, you can speak to one of our welfare rights advisers to find out which benefits you may be entitled to. Call 0808 808 00 00.

What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a weekly benefit for people who look after someone with a lot of care needs. People who get Carer’s Allowance are not affected by the benefit cap.


Who can claim

You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if:

  • you are aged 16 or over
  • you are caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week.

The person you care for must already be getting certain benefits – usually one of the following:

  • the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment at either rate
  • the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate
  • Attendance Allowance.

We have more information about benefits for people with care or mobility needs.

It is also worth knowing that:

  • you do not need to be related to, or living with, the person you care for
  • you can be working, but there is a weekly earnings limit of £116 a week (after certain deductions)
  • you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance if you are studying for 21 hours a week or more.

If you are a carer but you do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you may still be able to apply for Carer’s Credit.


Overlapping benefits

Carer’s Allowance overlaps with certain other benefits, including:

  • State Pension
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • bereavement benefits
  • contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The rule for overlapping benefits is that you cannot be paid both benefits at the same time. Instead, you are paid the one that is worth the most.

Even if this rule means you cannot be paid Carer’s Allowance, it may still be worth applying for it. This is because you would then have what is known as an underlying entitlement to the benefit. The advantages of this are:

  • You could get an additional carer premium in any income-related benefit you are entitled to.
  • You may also get credits that count towards National Insurance. This can protect your right to State Pension or other benefits.
  • If the other overlapping benefit stops for any reason, you can be paid Carer’s Allowance straight away without having to make a new claim.

If you are paid Carer’s Allowance, it can affect the benefits claimed by the person you care for. It is a good idea to speak to a welfare rights adviser about this. They can advise you about which would be the best benefit to claim for you and the person you care for.


How much you could get

Carer’s Allowance is £62.70 a week.


How to claim

  • If you live in England, Scotland, or Wales, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321, use textphone 0345 604 5312 or visit gov.uk
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, call the Disability and Carers Service on 0300 123 3356, use textphone 028 9031 1092 or visit nidirect.gov.uk You can also ask your local Social Security or Jobs and Benefits office for a form.

Carers may be able to get other financial help as well. For more information, speak to a welfare rights adviser by calling us on 0808 808 00 00.

Benefit cap

On 7 November 2016, a change was made to the benefit cap. It now does not apply to you if you live in England, Wales, or Scotland and:

  • you are getting (or have an underlying entitlement to) Carer’s Allowance
  • you are getting the carers element of Universal Credit.

In Northern Ireland, carers were already exempt from the benefit cap before this change.


Carer premium

If you get Carer’s Allowance (or have an underlying entitlement to it) and you get certain other benefits, you may also be able to get the carer premium. This is an extra payment that can be added to:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Reduction.

Extra payments for being a carer can also be added to:

  • Pension Credit (the extra payment is called the carer addition)
  • Universal Credit (the extra payment is called the carer element).

To claim any of these extra payments for carers, contact the service that pays you the benefits and tell them you are getting Carer’s Allowance. The payment should then be added to any benefit you are getting.

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