Carer’s Allowance & State Pensions: What You Need To Know

Anytime you are thinking about applying for a new benefit you think you may be entitled to, it is a sensible idea to first make sure that you are clear on how receiving that additional financial support will affect any other benefits or government payments you already receive.

An article we really recently shared on our Facebook page, published by This Is Money, covered a query from a reader on why she was no longer entitled to Carer’s Allowance now she was receiving her state pension. In this guide, we’ve dived into exactly what you need to know about Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension.


Carer’s Allowance and State Pensions

Carer’s Allowance is a government benefit available to anyone that provides unpaid care for someone for more than 35 hours per week, and earns less than £128 a week after tax. Read our full guide to Carer’s Allowance to get a full breakdown of the eligibility requirements, how to apply, and what you can recieve.

There is no upper age limit to Carer’s Allowance, which means that even if you are retired, you could still receive this benefit if you are providing unpaid care for someone else. However, with that said, Carer’s Allowance payments do typically stop when you reach retirement age. This is because you would normally start to be paid your State Pension – which no longer qualifies you for your Carer’s Allowance due to overlapping benefits rules.

What are overlapping benefits rules?

Overlapping benefits rules mean that you cannot be paid Carer’s Allowance if you are already receiving:

  • State Pension
  • contributory Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Bereavement or widow’s benefits
  • Severe Disablement Allowance

However, if your State Pension is less than the amount of Carer’s Allowance, you can claim an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance in recognition of your caring role, which will add an amount called the ‘Carer’s Addition’ to your benefits.

Can I get Carer’s Allowance Instead Of My State Pension?

Yes, you could opt to carry on receiving Carer’s Allowance instead of your state pension, but you should note that you won’t build up any extra pension during this time – seeking further advice is always recommend before you make any decisions like these.

Can I Get Carer’s Allowance If My Partner Is Paid State Pension?

If your partner is paid a state pension and receives an additional amount for you, you are still entitled to Carer’s Allowance if you are not yet at retirement age. However, this will mean that the amount your partner receives for you will be affected – if your Carer’s Allowance amount is higher or equal to the amount your partner is given for you, then this additional amount won’t be paid. 

However, if the amount is lower, then you would be entitlement an ‘adult dependent addition’ that pays the difference via your partner’s state pension.  With these stipulations in place, it’s highly recommended that you do your research before making any formal requests and calculate what option will benefit you and your partner most.

Will Claiming Carer’s Allowance Affect The Person I Care For’s State Pension?

No, claiming for Carer’s Allowance will not affect the State Pension of the person you care for (if they are receiving one), nor will it affect their disability benefit.

This means that if you are providing unpaid care for someone who is retired and receives a pension, you can still claim for financial support for yourself without affecting them.

Insurance for carers: we provide insurance for paid carers to protect yourself while working. Get a quote for your carers insurance here.

Additionally, if you receive direct payments to employ a carer, our Direct Payments Insurance is designed to provide you with the cover you are legally required to have.