Who can claim Carer's Allowance?
You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you:
- 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 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 the full day rate or above)
- don’t earn more than £123 a week (after deductions). Money you get from personal or workplace pensions doesn't count as part of your earnings
- aren’t in full-time education.
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.
How much is Carer's Allowance worth?
Carer’s Allowance is paid at up to £66.15 a week.
If your State Pension is more than £66.15 a week, you won’t actually receive Carer’s Allowance. This is because these are ‘overlapping benefits’ and you can only receive one benefit rate at a time. Instead, you will have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance. This means that you’re recognised as a carer, but you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance.
This underlying entitlement means you may receive more money with any means-tested benefits you receive, 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 now find you can claim them. So it’s worth applying for Carer’s Allowance, especially if you’re on a low income.
If your State Pension is less than £66.15, then you can receive Carer’s Allowance to top it up to this amount.
This rule applies to certain other benefits too, such as Incapacity Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 to ask for a claim form. Or you can claim online at gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim
If you need help filling in the form you can contact your local Age UK
For more information, read our factsheet Carer's Allowance