Carer's Allowance is money for people who care for
someone who has a disability.
Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and
Age rules: You must be over 16
Type of benefit: Non
means tested (but you mustn't earn over £102 per week)
Administered by: Carer's Allowance Unit
You can read through this information sheet, or go directly to
the sections you want to read by clicking on these links:
Who does it help?
You can get Carer's Allowance if you care for someone for at
least 35 hours a week. The person you care for must be getting a
benefit because of their disability, for example, Attendance Allowance, the middle or high rate
care component of Disability Living Allowance or either
level of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment . You do
not need to be living with the person you are caring for.
If you are in paid work, you might still be able to get Carer's
Allowance but you must not earn more than £102 in take home
pay each week. (This is to be increased to £110 a week from
April 2015). It does not matter if you have savings as these will
not be taken into account.
You do not have to have paid any national insurance
contributions to get Carer's Allowance.
You do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you are in full-time education or if someone else is
already claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after the same
Before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance, you should check
with the person you are caring for, as it may affect some of the
benefits they receive if you are successful, such as losing a
severe disability premium from:
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
How much does it pay?
Carer's Allowance is money that you can spend as you want. The
weekly rate is £61.35 (£62.10 from April 2015).
It is usually paid into your bank or building society account.
You can be paid at a post office or Paypoint outlet in some
You can choose to be paid either weekly in
advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks in arrears.
In some cases, you may meet the conditions for both Carer's
Allowance (CA) and another benefit, such as State Retirement Pension, or contributory
Employment and Support Allowance. As these
are 'overlapping benefits' you won't
receive a payment of CA - even though you would if it weren't for
the other overlapping benefit you receive. If the other benefit you
receive is worth less than CA, your other benefit can be 'topped
up' to the current rate of CA so you don't lose out.
The rules about overlapping benefits are complicated
and you may need to get advice about this from an expert benefits
Even if you don't receive a payment of Carer's Allowance,
entitlement to it allows you to get an extra amount,
called a carer's premium or carer's addition, as part
of some means-tested benefits, so you should still make a
Carer's premiums can be added to or taken into account for:
If you receive Carer's Allowance you also qualify for a
Christmas Bonus each year (unless you get one with another
benefit). This is usually £10. You do not need to make a claim
for the bonus it is paid automatically. It does not affect any
other benefits you might get.
Carer's Allowance is included in the Benefit Cap which
limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people
can receive. See our Benefit Cap
information page for more details.
How do I make a claim?
Claim online at
the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new window)
Phone the Carer’s Allowance Unit for a claim form:
Telephone: 0845 6084321
Textphone: 0845 6045312
Download a claim form
from the Gov.UK website (link opens in a new window)
In Northern Ireland
Phone the Benefit Enquiry Line for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 22 06 74
Textphone: 028 9031 1092
Phone the Disability and Carer’s Service for a claim form:
Telephone: 028 9090 6186
If you are waiting to hear if the person you care for is getting
a qualifying disability benefit, you should still make a claim.
Can it be backdated?
Carers Allowance can be backdated for up to three months if you
would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your
claim is late. Request this when claiming.
If you disagree with the decision made on your
Carer’s Allowance claim, for example due to incorrect information
being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again, if you still
disagree you can appeal.
The time limits are strict, you will usually
be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to
seek advice and act quickly.
Further information on Challenges and
Change of circumstance
You must report changes in your circumstances
which might affect your entitlement to this benefit
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Last updated: 3 March 2015