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What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit from the government for people over 16 who spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone who needs significant care and support.

Who is a carer?

A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member, partner, child, friend or neighbour who cannot manage without the carer’s support. The person you care for may have:

• a disability or illness

• mental health difficulties

• or have alcohol or drug related problems

You may not realise that you are a carer. See looking after someone for more information.

Am I eligible for carer’s allowance?

To claim Carer’s Allowance the person you care for must receive one of the following benefits;

Attendance Allowance

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Disability Living Allowance (at the middle or highest rate for personal care)

Constant Attendance Allowance at the full day rate with a War Disablement Pension, or at the exceptional rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

You can’t receive Carer’s Allowance if:

• you’re in full-time education

• you’re doing a course described as full-time by the establishment providing it

• you earn up to £120 a week after certain deductions (like Income Tax) have been made.

Claiming carer’s allowance may impact upon other benefits that you receive such as State Pension.

Visit gov.uk for more information.

How much carer’s allowance may I receive?

The person you care for may lose money if you claim Carer’s Allowance, so it is always best to seek advice before making a claim.

Visit gov.uk for more information on Carer’s Allowance, including the current rates and how to make a claim.

Can I still receive a state pension if I am a carer?

If your state pension is less than your carer’s allowance, you will be entitled to a top up of carer’s allowance to match that amount.

If your state pension is more than your carer’s allowance, you won’t actually get carer’s allowance, but you will still have an ‘underlying entitlement’ to it. It may still be worth making a claim as it can act as a gateway to other financial support.

Carer’s Credit can help fill in the gaps on your National Insurance Record if you have not paid enough National Insurance over your working life to be entitled to a State Pension.

Visit gov.uk for more information.

How do I apply for Carers Allowance?

Contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit to make a claim.

You can make a claim for Carer’s Allowance online, report a change of circumstances or download the relevant forms at www.gov.uk.

Where can I get benefits advice?

It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you.

Other Useful Information 

Carers Allowance – Age UK factsheet

Citizens Advice – Carers Allowance

Money Advice Service provides online information on the full range of benefits that you may be entitled to.  This also includes where to find more help and advice.