In this guide, we’ve provided a complete guide to what Carer’s Allowance is and who is entitled to it, so you can make sure you’re not missing out on what you’re owed.
What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is a benefit available to people spending 35 hours or more a week providing care to someone with a disability. It is the main benefit available to carer’s, and you may be eligible for it even if you don’t officially think of yourself as a carer.
It can be difficult at times to know exactly what types of support you are entitled to. It is estimated that there could be almost half a million people currently missing out on the Carer’s Allowance, a weekly or monthly payment that could be invaluable to many of the people providing unpaid care in the UK.
- Who Is Eligible?
- Can I Claim If I Work Part-Time?
- How Much Is Carers Allowance?
- How Is Carer’s Allowance Paid?
- How To Claim
- How To Apply
- Will my tax credits be affected?
- How Does Carer’s Allowance Affect Other Benefits?
- Impacting Your Income Support Benefits
– Can I Claim If I Receive Working Tax Credits?
– Does Claiming Affect My Personal Independence Payment Benefit?
– Does Carer’s Allowance Affect ESA?
– Does Carer’s Allowance Affect Housing Benefits?
– Does Carer’s Allowance Affect Child Tax Credits?
– Do My Savings Impact My Eligibility?
– Can I Claim for Multiple People?
Who Is Eligible?
Carer’s Allowance is the main welfare benefit available to support people who spend a certain amount of time every week providing care to someone with a disability. In order to be eligible, you do need to fulfil certain requirements, as does the person you care for.
You may be eligible if you:
- Care for someone at least 35 hours/week
- Are aged 16 or over
- Normally live in England, Scotland or Wales
- Are not in full-time education or studying for more than 21 hours/week
- Earn less than £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses
You are also only eligible if the person you care for is getting a benefit due to their disability or illness. They must already be getting one of the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Child Disability Payment (middle or highest care rate)
- Adult Disability Payment (daily living component)
You will not usually be entitled to Carer’s Allowance if you are claiming State Pension or other benefits that replace income. This can include Employment and Support Allowance.
Does Working Part-Time Affect My Eligibility?
You may still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you work part-time. However, you must meet the following criteria:
- You spend at least 35 hours caring for someone
- You earn no more than £132/week after tax
How Much Is Carer’s Allowance?
If you are eligible, then as a carer, you could get £69.70 per week*
This allowance is taxable, which means it can affect other benefits you already receive. This means you could be paid less in another benefit, and the benefits of the person you are caring for may also be affected.
For every week that you get Carer’s Allowance, you’ll also get National Insurance credits.
How Is Carer’s Allowance Paid?
Carer’s allowance can be paid in one of the following ways:
- Weekly (in advance)
- Every 4 weeks
Your allowance will be paid directly into your bank account or building society.
How To Claim:
If you are eligible for this benefits, you can claim through the Gov.co.uk website here, or by post.
Please see the following details to contact the Carer’s Allowance department:
Telephone: 0345 608 4321
Textphone: 0345 604 5312
Carer’s Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
How To Apply:
Using the link provided above, you will need to submit some information in order to prove that you qualify for this benefit. To apply, you will need to provide the following information:
- National Insurance Number
- Bank details
- Employment details and your latest payslip (if working)
- Your P45 if you’ve recently left work
- Any course details if you are a student
You’ll also need to provide the following details of the person you care for:
- Address and D.O.B
- National Insurance Number (if over 16)
- Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16
Are Tax Credits Affected?
There are some benefits that, if you receive them, will often mean you cannot also be paid Carer’s Allowance. These benefits include:
- State Pension
- Incapacity Benefit
- Maternity Allowance
- Contributory Employment & Support Allowance
- Bereavement Benefits
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
These restrictions are due to the ‘overlapping benefits’ rules, which means that if you are getting more than the amount you would receive from Carer’s Allowance from one of the benefits listed above, you are not entitled to Carer’s Allowance.
However, in this case, you would still be able to claim an underlying entitlement. Making an ‘underlying entitlement’ claim can increase any means-tested benefits you receive.
How Does This Benefit Affect My Other Benefits?
Receiving Carer’s Allowance can affect any other benefits you and the person you care for are getting. However, although your other benefits may be reduced, the total payments you receive will typically stay the same or increase.
Benefits that may be affected by this include Income Support, Employment and Support, State Pension and Jobseeker’s benefits. If you receive other benefits that are paid at the same rate of more than Carer’s Allowance, you may instead receive payment of what is called an ‘underlying entitlement’.
In addition, when you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will no longer receive:
- Severe disability premium
- Reduced Council Tax
As Carer’s Allowance can also affect the benefits of the person you care for, they should be informed that you are making a claim.
If you complete a claim form, the person you care for must confirm in writing that they are aware you are claiming Carer’s Allowance as you care for them a minimum of 35 hours/week, and if you apply online they will be informed once you have been approved.
What Other Benefits Can I Get?
If you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you may also be eligible for other benefits to support you. These can include:
- Working Tax Credit.
- Child Tax Credit.
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
Visit this website to find out more about applying for additional benefits alongside your Carer’s Allowance.
Income Support Benefits
Carer’s Allowance is not a means-tested benefit and therefore is not based on your household income. There is, however, a cap on how much you can earn from work to be eligible (£132 per week).
If you are already receiving more than the amount of Carer’s Allowance from an income support benefit, you cannot be paid an additional sum. You can, however, submit a claim for an ‘underlying entitlement’.
In order for your claim to be valid, you need to meet all of the eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance and still make a claim. If approved, your means-tested benefits may increase as the carer’s premium will be included in any calculations for these benefits.
Can I Claim Carer’s Allowance And Working Tax Credits?
If you currently get a Working Tax credit, you must contact HMRC to notify them of your Carer’s Allowance claim. Claiming can affect your other benefits, including Working Tax Credits, but it does not mean your total payments will change: instead, your other benefits may be reduced to counter in the additional benefit, with your total benefits either staying the same or increasing.
Will My Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Be Affected?
If you are a carer with care needs, you will be able to claim Personal Independence Payment withot your Carer’s Allowance.
If you currently receive PIP (Personal Independence Payment), then Carer’s Allowance may be available to someone looking after you. If your carer meets the eligibility requirements listed above, they may be entitled to this benefit.
Does Claiming Carer’s Allowance Affect ESA?
Yes, your carer’s allowance can affect any other benefits you receive including Employment Support Allowance. Due to the overlapping benefits rules, you will not normally be able to get Carer’s Allowance if you already receive Employer Support Allowance, although you can still claim an ‘underlying entitlement’.
This means that you will need to meet all of the eligibility requirements for Carer’s Allowance and make a claim for the benefit. Having an underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance can then increase any means-tested benefits you are getting by adding a carer premium or carer addition into the calculation for these benefits.
See the below answer for more information on overlapping benefits.
If the person you care for receives housing benefits, their benefits may be affected. Other means-tested benefits that could potentially be affected by a claim include:
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Council Tax Reduction
Does This Benefit Affect Child Tax Credits?
Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit which means it will be considered as income when calculating other credits such as Child Tax Credits. This can mean that your tax credits are reduced.
Do My Savings Impact My Eligibility?
No – your savings and national insurance record do not make a difference to your eligibility. Even if you have savings to financially support yourself, you can still apply f you match the other requirements.
It’s important to note that while claiming for Carer’s Allowance will have an affect on certain benefits, the overall amount you receive is only likely to remain the same or increase.
The amount you could receive for the carer premium or carer addition is £38.85 per week, while the carer element is worth £168.35 a month. If you receive either of these, the other means-tested benefit you receive will decrease somewhat – but the overall amount you receive is likely to be more.).
Can I Claim Carer’s Allowance for Caring for Multiple People?
No, you get only get one payment of Carer’s Allowance for one person. You may not add together the time you spend caring for multiple people, and you must choose just one person to claim for if you care for more than one person.
Likewise, if you and another person both spend at least 35 hours caring for the same person every week, only one of you are entitled to claim. It should be agreed between the two of you who will make the claim, and the other person should seek further advice about the benefits they can claim.
If the person you care for is also caring for someone else, you are both entitled to claim provided you both meet the criteria. This also applies if you are carers for one another.
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*Figures accurate as of August 2022.