A Carer’s allowance is a government benefit for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care to someone who has a disability. There are a number of criteria that the carer must meet before they are able to eligible for this benefit, which you can read about below.
The carer’s allowance is taxable and may affect your eligibility to other benefits that you may be currently receiving. If there are multiple carers for the individual, only one of the carers are entitled to receive the carer’s allowance.
How much is carer’s allowance?
If you fit the criteria then you can receive £62.70 per week as a benefit for caring for somebody. If you have been caring for somebody in the previous few months, you can also ask for this to be backdated up to 3 months. This means you will receive the money you should have been receiving over that time period.
You are able to choose when you would like to be paid, which will go straight into your bank account.
- Weekly in advance
- Every 4 weeks
- Every 13 weeks
Who is carer’s allowance for? | Eligibility Criteria
To be able to receive the benefit, you and the person you care for must meet the following criteria:
The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You must meet all of the following conditions:
- You’re 16 or over
- You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
- You’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years
- You normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
- you’re not in full-time education
- You’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
- You earn no more than £116 a week after tax and some expenses – these will be assessed when you apply
- You’re not subject to Immigration control
Effect on other benefits
Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both you and the individual you care for receive.
Effect on the benefits of the person you care for:
When you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will stop getting:
- A severe disability premium paid with their benefits
- An extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, if they get one
- Reduced Council Tax – contact their local council to find out if this affects them
Effect on your other benefits
When you claim carer’s allowance your other benefits may be reduced, but your total benefit payments will usually either go up or stay the same.
Carer’s Allowance doesn’t count towards the benefit cap
If you get Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, you must contact the tax credits office to tell them about your carer’s allowance claim
You can use benefit calculators to see how they may change, if you follow that link it will take you through everything you need to calculate it.
Credits for Carers
Carer’s Credit works as an alternative to making NI contributions (in lieu of work), and helps to build an entitlement to the basic state pension. It is not means tested, and to qualify you must be aged 16 or over, under state pension age and looking after someone for at least 20 hours a week. The person being cared for must receive one or more benefits. Carer’s Credit allows you to take short breaks including holidays or when the person you are caring for goes into hospital. If you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll automatically also receive Carer’s Credit. If not, contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0845 608 4321.
Universal Credit replaces six existing benefits for people who are out of work or are on a low income. If you are receiving universal credit you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role, without having to apply for a Carer’s Allowance, which is known as a ‘carer element’. You can’t get both. For more information contact the Universal Credit helpline on 0845 600 0723.
If Carer’s allowance isn’t right for you, you can read our guide on funded care below or leave a message on the Agespace Forum.
We know how it feels when your loved one needs care, but to also be concerned about your current financial situation. Understand that this is a thought and worry that everybody has, luckily for us their are different options to help make everything a little bit easier. Take a look at our guide to help you through it.