Carer's Allowance

Notes

1. How it works

You could get £62.10 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

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

You won’t be paid extra if you care for more than one person.

Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get. You have to pay tax on it if your income is over the Personal Allowance.

How you’re paid

You can choose to be paid:

  • weekly in advance
  • every 4 weeks
  • every 13 weeks

It will be paid into an account, eg your bank account.

What else you can get

For each week you get Carer’s Allowance you’ll automatically get:

You may also be able to apply for support from your local council and a Council Tax Reduction.

2. Eligibility

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

You

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
  • you’re not 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
  • you’re not subject to immigration control

You might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in another EEA country.

The rules are different in Northern Ireland.

3. Effect on other benefits

Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both you and the person you care for get.

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 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.

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.

If you get Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, you must contact the Tax Credits office to tell them about Carer’s Allowance claim.

Use a benefits calculator to work out how your other benefits will be affected.

4. Make a claim

You will need

Before you apply 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