Eligibility

You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets certain criteria.

The person you care for

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
  • Child Disability Payment - the middle or highest care rate
  • Adult Disability Payment - daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate

If you care for the person with others

You cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you share the care of someone and the other carer is already claiming:

If you want to get Carer’s Allowance, speak to the other carer about changing their benefits.

If the other carer does not want to do that, you can still apply for Carer’s Allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will decide who should receive the benefit.

The type of care you provide

You need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. This can include:

  • helping with washing and cooking
  • taking the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment
  • helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping

Your eligibility

All of the following must apply:

  • 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 (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
  • you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces (you might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in an EEA country or Switzerland)
  • you’re not in full-time education
  • you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • you’re not subject to immigration control
  • your earnings are £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, you and your family usually also need settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to get Carer’s Allowance. The deadline to apply to the scheme was 30 June 2021 for most people, but you might still be able to apply. Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If your earnings are sometimes more than £132 a week you might still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Your average earnings may be calculated to work out if you’re eligible.

Calculating your earnings

Your earnings are any income from employment and self-employment after tax, National Insurance and expenses.

Expenses can include:

  • 50% of your pension contributions
  • equipment you need to do your job, for example specialist clothing
  • travel costs between different workplaces that are not paid for by your employer, for example fuel or train fares
  • business costs if you’re self-employed, for example a computer you only use for work

If you pay a carer to look after the disabled person or your children while you work, you can treat care costs that are less than or equal to 50% of your earnings as an expense. The carer must not be your spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling.

Example

You earn £100 a week (after tax, National Insurance and other expenses) and spend £60 a week on care while you work. You can treat £50 of this as an expense.

Payments that do not count as earnings include:

  • money received from an occupational or private pension
  • contributions towards your living or accommodation costs from someone you live with (they cannot be a tenant or boarder)
  • the first £20 a week and 50% of the rest of any income you make from someone boarding in your home
  • a loan or advance payment from your employer

If you get State Pension

You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.

If your pension is £69.70 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.

If your pension is less than £69.70 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

If you get Pension Credit

If your State Pension is more than £69.70 a week, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment but your Pension Credit payments will increase instead.

If you’re not eligible

You might be eligible for Carer’s Credit if you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance.