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

If someone else also cares for the same person as you, only one of you can claim Carer’s Allowance.

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

If you or the person you care for are affected by coronavirus, you can still claim Carer’s Allowance if you provide care remotely. This includes giving emotional support over the phone or online.

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 £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

If your earnings are sometimes more than £128 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 pensions
  • 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’re not eligible

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