Carer's Allowance is money given to people who regularly care for someone for at least 35 hours a week, meaning they are unable to work in a full-time job. You do not have to be a relative or live with the person you care for.
You are able to claim for Carer's Allowance if you:
- Are 16 and over;
- Spend 35 hours a week or more caring for that person;
- Choose to work, but no more than 16 hours a week;
- Aren't in full-time education or studying for 21 hours a week or more;
- Have lived in England Scotland or Wales for at least 2 out of the last 3 years;
- Aren't subject to immigration control
You can only receive Carer's Allowance if no one is claiming for that person. If you care for more than one person, you still only get one amount.
Be careful, as claiming Carer's Allowance may affect other benefits you currently receive, or it could affect the benefits that the care receiver gets.
The person you are caring for
The person you are caring for must be claiming benefits for their disability. This could be:
- Armed Forces Independence Payment;
- Attendance Allowance;
- Constant Attendance Allowance (of £67.20 or more) paid with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension;
- Disability Living Allowance- either the middle or high rate care component;
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)- one of the daily living rates
Effects on other benefits
Effects on your benefits
If you claim for Carer's Allowance and you also claim for other benefits, they may be effected. However, your total amount will usually stay the same or go up.
You need to contact the Tax Credit Office if you claim Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, and inform them about your Carer's Allowance claim.
Carer's Allowance is not included in the Benefit Cap.
Make sure you are aware of any other benefits you could be entitled to. You could also apply for:
- Council Tax Reduction;
- Income Support - if you're on a low income;
- Employment Support Allowance - if you're unable to work due to a medical condition or disability;
- Support from your local council;
- Pension Credit- over the working age
Each week you get Carer's Allowance you will automatically get National Insurance Credit.
Effects on their benefits
You will need to make sure that the person you care for is aware that when you claim Carer's Allowance they will stop getting:
- Extra money for severe disability that is paid with Pension Credit (only if they have one);
- Reduced Council Tax - this will need to be checked with their local council;
- A severe disability premium that is paid with their benefits.
What am I entitled to
If you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week, you could get £62.70 a week. You can choose for this to be paid weekly or every four weeks.
You will be given a £10.00 bonus at Christmas which is usually paid automatically to you.
How to claim
When making a claim you need to have your:
- National Insurance number (if you have a partner, theirs is needed too)
- The bank or building society details that you would like your allowance to be paid into
- If working, your employment details and your latest payslip
- If you have finished work recently, your P45
- Details of any course you are studying
You need information about the person you are caring for you too. You will need their:
- Date of birth
- If they are over 16, their National Insurance number
- If they are under 16, their Disability Living Allowance reference number
You must make sure you report any changes. This can be if you get a job, stop providing care to someone, stop temporarily or being a carer altogether.
If you stop caring temporarily you may still be able to get the Carer's Allowance. This could be because:
- Either you or the person you care for are in hospital or respite care (up to 12 weeks)
- Either you or the person you care for goes on holiday (up to 4 weeks)