CARERS ALLOWANCE

Overview
• Carer’s Allowance is £61.35 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.
• You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.
• You must be 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.
• Carer’s Allowance is taxable. It can also affect your other benefits.

 
What you’ll get
You can get £61.35 a week Carer’s Allowance. You may also be able to claim other benefits, eg an income-related benefit and Pension Credit.

 
How you’re paid

You can choose to be paid either weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks.
All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg your bank account.

Effect on other benefits
If you get Universal Credit, it might affect how much you get from other benefits.

Any means-tested benefits you get will be reduced by the same amount you get from Carer’s Allowance. This includes:
• Housing Benefit
• Income Support
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Pension Credit
• Universal Credit
An extra amount (called the ‘carer premium’) will be included in the calculation of your means-tested benefits.
You might also be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction.

 
The benefit cap limits the amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. Some individual benefits aren’t affected, but it may affect the total amount of benefit you get.

 
Effect on tax credits
Your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit could be reduced if you get Carer’s Allowance. Contact the Tax Credits office for more information.

 
Effects on the benefits of the person you care for
Carer’s Allowance can affect the benefits of the person you care for, if they get a severe disability premium with with any of these benefits:
• income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Income Support
• Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension Credit
• Housing Benefit

 
Their severe disability premium will stop if you get Carer’s Allowance for looking after them. It can also affect their Council Tax reduction. Contact your local council to find out if this affects them.

 
Underlying entitlement
You can’t normally get 2 income-replacement benefits (eg Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension) paid together.
This is called the ‘overlapping benefit rule’. If you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because of this rule, you have ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance instead.
This might mean you could get:
• the carer premiums in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support
• the extra amount for carers in Pension Credit
• the carer element in Universal Credit

 
Your State Pension
Usually, for each week you get Carer’s Allowance or the underlying entitlement you also get:
• National Insurance credits

 
Eligibility
You:
You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if all of the following apply:
• you’re 16 or over
• you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
• have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years
• you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces
• you’re not in full time education or studying for more than 21 hours a week
• you earn less than £102 a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension)

 
There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living in another EEA country or subject to immigration control.
You might not get Carer’s Allowance if you already get one of these benefits:
• State Pension
• Bereavement Allowance
• contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
• contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Incapacity Benefit
• Industrial Death Benefit
• Maternity Allowance
• Severe Disablement Allowance
• training allowance
• Unemployability Supplement – paid with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension
• War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
• Widowed Mother’s Allowance
• Widowed Parent’s Allowance
• Widow’s Pension
You should still apply for Carer’s Allowance even if you get these as your benefits might be increased.
The person you care for:
The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
• Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
• Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the middle or highest care rate
• Attendance Allowance
• Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension

 
Make a claim
You will need:
Before you apply, check you’re eligible and make sure you have:
• your National Insurance number
• the date of birth and address of the person you’re caring for
• your bank or building society details
You may need to provide course details if you are studying, and any employment details including dates and how much you were paid.
Apply now online.
The application will reset if you don’t do anything for more than 1 hour – you’ll have to restart your application.

 

 

Other ways to apply
If you can’t use the online service, you can apply by post by printing and filling in the DS700 form, or the DS700SP form if you get a State Pension.
Send your application to the Carer’s Allowance Unit – you can also contact them to get a printed form.

 
Appeal a decision
You can appeal against the decision about your Carer’s Allowance if you’re unhappy with it.
Check the date on your decision letter. There are different ways to appeal if your decision was made:
• before 28 October 2013
• on or after 28 October 2013
• Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

 
If your circumstances change
You must report any change in your circumstances if you’re claiming or have applied for Carer’s Allowance.
This includes if you get a job, take a break from caring for someone or stop being a carer altogether.