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 £64.60 a week.

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

To get Carer’s Allowance, you must be:

  • over 16
  • caring for someone for at least 35 hours 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, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

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 the main benefit for carers and pays £64.60 a week.

If you look after someone with a lot of care needs, you could be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. If you are receiving Universal Credit, you might be entitled to the carers element, even if you do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

If you live in Scotland, a new extra payment is being introduced called the Carers Allowance Supplement. You can find out more about this at gov.scot

If you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance, or the carers element of Universal Credit, you will not be 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:

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

It is also important to know that:

  • you do not need to be related to, or living with, the person you care for to claim Carter's Allowance
  • you can be working, but there is a weekly earnings limit of £120 a week (after certain deductions)
  • you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance if you are studying for 21 hours a week or more.
  • means tested benefits, including a severe disability premium, cannot be paid to the person you care for if you get Carer’s Allowance – check with the person you are caring for before you apply.

If there is more than one carer looking after the person you care for, the main carer should apply. Only one person can get Carer’s Allowance.

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:

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

Even if this rule means you cannot be paid Carer’s Allowance, it may still be worth applying for it. This is because if you are entitled to the benefit, but cannot claim because of overlapping benefits, there may still be some advantages:

  • You could get an additional carer premium (see below) 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. You can 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 to claim

  • If you live in England, Scotland, or Wales, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297, or use textphone 0800 731 0317. You can also apply online at gov.uk or by post.
  • If you live in Northern Ireland, call the Disability and Carers Service on 0800 587 0912, 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 claim form.


Carer premium

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

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

To claim any of these extra payments for carers, contact the service that pays you the benefit 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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