Carer’s Allowance is a benefit to top up the income of carers. If you spend time looking after a partner, relative or friend who has an illness or disability, you may be able to claim it.
Who can claim Carer's Allowance?
Many people who look after someone else don't realise that they are a carer. Read our webpage Are you a carer? for more information on this.
You may qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you:
regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. This can include physically looking after them, any tasks you complete for them, and any time you spend keeping an eye on them. If they don't live with you and they visit, it can also include any time you spend preparing for their visit, cleaning up after they leave, and taking them back home.
care for someone who receives one of these benefits: Attendance Allowance (any rate), the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (any rate), Armed Forces Independence Payment or Constant Attendance Allowance (at £75.50 a week or above)
earn less than £132 a week (after deductions). Money you get from personal or workplace pensions doesn't count as part of your earnings. If your income is different every week, because you are self employed or work on a zero or low hours contract, the DWP will look at your average earnings from across the year to see if you earn less than £132 on average
Our advice guide Carer’s Allowance has more information on the criteria you need to meet.
You can still claim Carer’s Allowance if you’re getting a State Pension, but the rules are slightly different – see below.
Sometimes, claiming Carer’s Allowance can affect the benefits of the person you care for. Get advice if you think this may be the case – call our Helpline to arrange a free benefits check.
How much is Carer's Allowance worth?
Carer’s Allowance is paid at up to £69.70 a week (2022/23 rate).
If you’re already getting more than £69.70 a week from certain other benefits, such as State Pension, you won’t actually receive Carer’s Allowance payment. Instead, you will have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance payment. Although you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance, this means that you’re recognised as a carer. This is because you can only receive one benefit at a time, so these are ‘overlapping benefits’.
Underlying entitlement means you may receive more money with any means-tested benefits you currently get, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit. This extra money is called a Carer’s Premium, or a Carer’s Addition if it’s paid with Pension Credit. If didn’t previously qualify for these benefits, you may find you can now claim them for the first time.
It’s still worth applying for Carer’s Allowance even if you have overlapping benefits, particularly if you’re on a low income or over State Pension age. Read our factsheet Underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance for more information.
If your State Pension is less than £69.70, then you can receive Carer’s Allowance to top it up to this amount.
This rule applies to other means-tested benefits such as Incapacity Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.