Who can claim Carer's Allowance?
Many people look after someone else but don't realise that they are a carer. Read our webpage Are you a carer? for more information on what it means to be a carer.
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. During the coronavirus pandemic, this includes providing emotional support online or by telephone.
- care for someone who receives 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 £73.20 a week or above)
- don’t earn more than £128 a week (after deductions). Money you get from personal or workplace pensions doesn't count as part of your earnings
- aren’t in education for more than 21 hours a week
- meet the residency criteria.
Our factsheet 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.
Claiming Carer’s Allowance during the pandemic
If you live in England or Wales, you can continue to receive Carer’s Allowance even if you need to take a temporary break from caring because you or the person you care for has COVID-19, or you are needing to self-isolate because of it.
You should report any changes to your circumstances (such as a change in your caring hours, or a need to take a break from caring due to COVID-19) to the Carer’s Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0297.
The changes to Carer’s Allowance during the pandemic will be regularly reviewed by the government.
How much is Carer's Allowance worth?
Carer’s Allowance is paid at up to £67.60 a week.
If you’re already getting more than £67.60 a week from certain other benefits, such as State Pension, you won’t actually receive Carer’s Allowance. This is because you can only receive one benefit at a time, so these are ‘overlapping benefits’. Instead, you will have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance. Although you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance, this means that you’re recognised as a carer.
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 you’re not currently eligible for these benefits, you may find you can now claim them for the first time.
It’s worth applying for Carer’s Allowance even if you have overlapping benefits, particularly if you’re on a low income or above State Pension age. Read our factsheet Underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance for more information.
If your State Pension is less than £67.60, 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.
If you need help filling in the form you can contact your local Age UK.
For more information, read our factsheet Carer's Allowance.