What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you can claim this benefit, it is £76.75 a week. The amount paid is reviewed each year in April. If you receive certain other benefits, including a State Pension, you may not be able to be paid Carer’s Allowance, although it may still be worth you making a claim.

Carer’s Allowance is not a means-tested benefit which means that it is not based on your income and capital (and any partner’s). However, you can only be paid Carer’s Allowance if your earnings from work are under a certain capped amount.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable. However, carers will only have to pay tax if they have other sources of taxable income such as occupational or personal pensions or part-time earnings, and if this combined income takes them over the threshold for paying tax. Carer’s Allowance on its own is below this threshold. If you are paid Carer’s Allowance, it will count as income when your means-tested benefits are calculated. However your means-tested benefit calculations will include a carer premium, carer addition or carer element.

Am I eligible Carer’s Allowance?

You may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a  person who receives one of the following disability benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance higher or middle rate care component
  • Personal Independence Payment standard or enhanced daily living component
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance paid with an industrial injuries benefit or war disablement pension
  • Child Disability Payment (Scotland) higher or middle rate care component
  • Adult Disability Payment (Scotland) standard or enhanced daily living component
  • You will not be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you are in full-time education. If the course you are doing is described as full-time by the school, college or university you go to, or involves you attending for at least 21 hours a week, then you are usually considered to be in full-time education.

You must also not be gainfully employed, which is described as earning over £132 a week. You can take off any care costs you might have for your children or the person you care for while you work, up to a maximum of half your net weekly earnings.

If you receive a State Pension you might not be paid Carer’s Allowance, even if you are eligible, because they are both considered to be earnings-replacement benefits and you can only receive one of these at a time. You will only receive some Carer’s Allowance if your pension is lower than the Carer’s Allowance rate. But don’t be put off making a claim, because if you’re eligible then you could be awarded an extra amount called a carer premium in other benefits you might claim, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role without applying for Carer’s Allowance. This is known as a carer element.

To find out if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance visit – gov.uk

How much is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is paid at a weekly rate of £76.75.

How do I claim Carer’s Allowance?

If you are eligible, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance through the Government’s website.

You will need to have the following documents:

  • Your National Insurance number (and if applicable, your partner’s too)
  • Any bank or building society details you have (unless you get your State Pension)
  • If you’re employed, then your employment details and your latest payslip
  • If you’ve recently finished work, then your P45
  • If you’re studying, you’ll need your course details, including the number of hours you’re studying
  • Details of any expenses

You will need the following information for the person you care for:

  • Their address
  • Their date of birth
  • If their over 16, their National Insurance number, and
  • If they’re under 16, their Disability Living Allowance reference

It usually takes between three and six weeks to receive your Carer’s Allowance decision.

If successful, you can be backdated up to three months prior to your claim date, dependent on when you started caring.

Please Note: Claiming Carers Allowance may impact the eligibility of the benefits that the person you care for can claim.

Help with Applying for Carer’s Allowance

Call the Crossroads Carers Assistance Line on 0121 803 6830 for any advice and support needed before or during your application for Carer’s Allowance.