Advice for Carers

Carer’s Allowance and other support

Carer’s Allowance is payable to the person who is a carer, as long as the person they care for gets one of the following disability benefits:

  • any daily living rate of Personal Independence Payment
  • middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • any rate of Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance

You can only receive one Carer’s Allowance, even if you care for more than one person. You can get Carer’s Allowance for caring for someone else as well as Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment for yourself.

The carer does not have to be related to or live with the person who is cared for. A carer has to be at least 16 and not in full time education to get Carer’s Allowance, and they need to show that they spend at least 35 hours a week in the caring role. Carer’s Allowance is taxable and can affect other benefits, and there are rules about how much other money you can earn and still receive Carer’s Allowance. Currently you cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you earn more than £120 per week (after taxes, care costs while you are at work, and 50% of any pension contributions you make).

You cannot get Carer’s Allowance if you also receive Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance or Contribution Based Jobseeker’s Allowance as they are classed as ‘overlapping’ benefits.   If you gets an income-based version of Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may receive a Carer Premium.  It will not be awarded to anyone who also receives State Retirement Pension, although if you receive Pension Credit (see our factsheet on Benefits for older people) you may get an additional Carer Premium.

If you are under State Retirement Age and do not do any other paid work, you can claim Income Support and Carer’s Allowance instead of applying for Jobseeker’s Allowance. This means you will not have to sign-on, or look for any other work.

If the person you care for goes into hospital you will still be paid Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks in any period of 26 weeks. If they go into a care home, you are allowed a break in your caring role of 4 weeks before Carer’s Allowance is stopped. Carer’s Allowance can continue for 8 weeks after the person you care for dies. You can claim online (or download a paper form) at www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim or phone the Carer’s Allowance Unit at 0800 731 0297.

When you claim Carer’s Allowance you can ask for it to be backdated for up to 3 months. It is worth claiming as soon as you can, even if you have to wait for Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance to be paid to the person you care for. Your Carer’s Allowance claim will be started from the same date their award starts. You can claim Income Support as a carer for up to 6 months while you wait for a decision on whether Personal Independence Payment or Attendance Allowance is awarded to the person you care for.

If you become a Universal Credit claimant, you may be able to receive the Carer’s element (an additional amount, equivalent to the Carer Premium) even if you do not receive Carer’s Allowance. You just need to show that you have regular and substantial (at least 35 hours per week) caring responsibilities for a severely disabled person who gets a relevant disability benefit (see above). If you are a carer, you will not have any work-related requirements for Universal Credit.

If you do receive Carer’s Allowance, it will be counted as income when they are working out how much Universal Credit to pay you.

During 2018/19 Carer’s Allowance is paid at the rate of £64.60 per week. The Carer Premium (for anyone who gets means-tested benefits) is £36.00 per week. Benefit rates are reviewed every April.

If you are not eligible for Carer’s Allowance or Carer Premium, you could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.  This is a credit to your National Insurance contributions record.  Check at www.gov.uk/carers-credit

If the person you care for asks for a Care Assessment from Social Services they must also assess your support needs as a carer, and whether you can carry on in that role, if you ask them to.  Try https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/looking-after-someone/carers-assessment for more information and there are carer organisations that can provide additional information and support, for example:

If you are a young person in a caring role try:

Please see our welfare benefits section for more information on the other benefits mentioned above.

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