Benefits & credits: Carer's Allowance


1. Overview

Carer’s Allowance is £62.10 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.

You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You must be 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable. It can also affect your other benefits.

2. What you'll get

You can get £62.10 a week Carer’s Allowance.

You may also be able to claim other benefits, eg an income-related benefit and Pension Credit.

Use a benefits calculator to work out how much you can get and if your other benefits will be affected.

How you’re paid

You can choose to be paid either weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg your bank account.

Effect on other benefits

Any means-tested benefits you get will be reduced by the same amount you get from Carer’s Allowance. This includes:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

An extra amount (called the ‘carer premium’) will be included in the calculation of your means-tested benefits.

You might also be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction.

The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.

Effect on tax credits

Your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit could be reduced if you get Carer’s Allowance. Contact the Tax Credits office for more information.

Effects on the benefits of the person you care for

Carer’s Allowance can affect the benefits of the person you care for, if they get a severe disability premium with any of these benefits:

  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit

Their severe disability premium will stop if you get Carer’s Allowance for looking after them. If they get it, their additional Pension Credit (for severe disability) will also stop.

It can also affect their Council Tax reduction. Contact the local council of the person you care for to find out if this affects them.

Underlying entitlement

You can’t normally get 2 income-replacement benefits (eg Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension) paid together.

This is called the ‘overlapping benefit rule’. If you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because of this rule, you have ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance instead.

This might mean you could get:

  • the carer premiums in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support
  • the extra amount for carers in Pension Credit
  • the carer element in Universal Credit

Your State Pension

Usually, for each week you get Carer’s Allowance or the underlying entitlement you also get:

Caring for more than one person

You can only get paid for Carer’s Allowance once each week. You won’t get paid more if you look after more than one person.

3. Eligibility


You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if all of the following apply:

  • you’re 16 or over
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • have 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 or studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • you earn no more than £110 a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension) - don’t count your pension as income

The rules are different in Northern Ireland.

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living in another EEA country or subject to immigration control.

You might not get Carer’s Allowance if you already get one of these benefits:

  • State Pension
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Death Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • training allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement – paid with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension
  • Universal Credit
  • War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension

You should still apply for Carer’s Allowance even if you get these as your other benefits might be increased if you have ‘underlying entitlement’.

The person you care for

The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - the middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

4. Make a claim

You will need

Before you apply, check you’re eligible and make sure you have:

  • your National Insurance number
  • the date of birth and address of the person you’re caring for
  • your bank or building society details

You may need to provide course details if you are studying, and any employment details including dates and how much you were paid.

You can backdate your claim by up to 3 months.

The application will reset if you don’t do anything for more than 90 minutes - you’ll have to restart your application.

Other ways to apply

If you can’t apply online, you can apply by post. The address to send your application to is at the end of the form.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal.

5. If your circumstances change

You must report any change in your circumstances if you’re claiming or have applied for Carer’s Allowance.

This includes if you get a job, take a break from caring for someone or stop being a carer altogether.

You must use the Tell Us Once service if the person you’re caring for has died.

Breaks from caring

You can still get Carer’s Allowance if you take a break. A break is any time you spent less than 35 hours a week caring for the other person. You could for example get Carer’s Allowance for up to:

  • 12 weeks if either of you go into respite care or hospital
  • 4 weeks if either of you go on holiday