If you live in the UK and are currently looking after someone, you may be eligible to claim a Carer’s Allowance.
The Carer’s Allowance is a weekly government payment that helps people in a position of unpaid care.
It is intended to help those who care for another person for at least 35 hours a week, where the individual being cared for receives certain benefits. The carer does not have to live with the person they are caring for.
Currently, Carer’s Allowance is given out at a rate of £67.25 a week. You will not get paid extra if you care for more than one person.
However, applicants should note, receiving Carer’s Allowance could have an impact on certain other benefits received by both the carer or the person being cared for.
Payments can be given weekly, or every four weeks.
Who is eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
You may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you, the person you care for and the type of care you provide meets certain criteria.
- You are eligible if the person you care for receives:
- Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement PensionArmed Forces Independence Payment
Applicants must be 16 years or over, and spend at least 35 hours per week caring for someone. They must also have been living in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years.
Worth checking if you are on other benefits
You will not be eligible for a Carer’s Allowance if you get some other benefits, including:
- State retirement pension
- Contributory ESA
- Contribution-based JSA
- Maternity Allowance
If your Carer’s Allowance is either the same as or less than the other benefit, you will get the other benefit rather than Carer’s Allowance.
If the other benefit is less than your Carer’s Allowance, you will get the other benefit and the balance of your Carer’s Allowance on top.
The rules to this are complicated, and it’s worth checking the GOV.uk website, which provides full details on the effects on other benefit payments.
How do I make a claim?
People can make a claim for carers insurance by visiting the GOV.uk website.
Before you apply make sure you have your:
- National Insurance number (if you have a partner you’ll need theirs too)
- Bank or building society details (unless you get your State Pension)
- Employment details and latest payslip if you’re working
- P45 if you’ve recently finished work
- Course details if you’re studying
- Details of any expenses, for example pension contributions or the cost of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work