Carer’s Allowance

If you look after someone with substantial care needs, you could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance is £62.10 a week.

You may be eligible if you care for someone who 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 £110 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.

Carer’s Allowance (non-means-tested/non-contribution-based)

Carer’s Allowance is a weekly benefit that helps people who look after someone with substantial care needs.

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 receiving 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.

It’s worth noting that:

  • you don’t need to be related to or living with the person you care for
  • you can be working, but there’s a weekly earnings limit of £110 a week (after certain deductions)
  • you can’t claim Carer’s Allowance if you are studying for 21 hours a week or more.

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

Overlapping benefits

Carer’s Allowance overlaps with certain benefits, including:

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

The rule with overlapping benefits is that you can’t be paid both benefits at the same time. Instead you are paid whichever one is worth the most. However, it may still be worth applying for Carer’s Allowance, even when this rule would prevent you being paid it. This is because you would then have what is known as an ‘underlying entitlement’ to the benefit. This has a number of advantages:

  • You would be entitled to an additional ‘carer premium’ in any means-tested benefit you are entitled to.
  • You may also receive credits that count towards national insurance. This is important, because you need enough national insurance contributions to be able to receive a State Pension.

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.

However, if you are actually paid Carer’s Allowance, this can affect the benefits claimed by the person you care for. It’s a good idea to speak to a welfare rights adviser. They can advise you on the best course of action for you and the person you care for.

How much you'll get

Carer’s Allowance is £62.10 a week.

How to claim

Call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321, textphone 0345 604 5312 or visit

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

Carer premium

If you get Carer’s Allowance (or have an underlying entitlement to it because of the ‘overlapping benefit’ rules) and you receive 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.

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

  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit.

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

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