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

In this guide, we’re answering a common question from carers: can pensioners claim Carer’s Allowance? And does receiving Carer’s Allowance affect the station pension? Let’s take a look at these frequently asked questions.

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.

Here, we’ll cover the relationship between the state pension and carers allowance, and what you need to know if you’re in receipt of both.


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 £139 a week after tax (accurate for 2023 – 2024). You can get up to £76.75 per week, paid every four weeks, if you meet the eligibility conditions.

Read our full guide to Carer’s Allowance to get a full breakdown of the eligibility requirements, how to apply, and what you can receive.

Can Pensioners Claim For Carers Allowance?

Yes, pensioners are able to claim for carers allowance in the UK. 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.

Does Carer’s Allowance Affect My State Pension?

If your pension is £76.75 per week or more, you will not be entitled to a Carer’s Allowance payment. If your pension is less than this, however, you can get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

You cannot receive both the full Carer’s Allowance amount and the full State Pension at the same time.

Despite these conditions, you should still apply for Carer’s Allowance if you meet the eligiblity conditions. You will still have an underlying entitlement which could entitle you to extra money for other means-tested benefits such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

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What Are The 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 Benefits
  • 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.