Carer's Allowance 2024: Rates, Eligibility & How to Apply | ͵͵


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Carer's Allowance

If you care for someone, you could be entitled to some extra money each week – even if you don't think of yourself as a carer.

What is Carer's Allowance?

Carer's Allowance is the main welfare benefit to help carers. Many people don't think of themselves as a carer – but if you look after a partner, friend or relative who'd find it difficult to manage without your support, then you're a carer. You don't have to be related to the person you care for to claim. 

How much Carer's Allowance could I get?

The Carer's Allowance rate is £81.90 per week. You won't be paid extra if you care for more than one person, but how much Carer's Allowance you get might be different depending on which other benefits you're claiming.

If you're claiming your State Pension

If your State Pension is less than the Carer's Allowance amount of £81.90, you can claim Carer's Allowance to top it up to that level. However, if your State Pension is more than £81.90, you won't be paid any Carer's Allowance. This is because State Pension and Carer's Allowance are classed as 'overlapping' benefits, which can't be paid at the same time.

However, a successful Carer's Allowance claim will still give you an 'underlying entitlement' to it. This entitlement could mean you get extra money with any means-tested benefits you claim, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit

If you're under State Pension age, you'll also get National Insurance credits each week towards your pension.

Find out more about State Pension

If you're claiming Universal Credit

If you claim Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role, which is known as a 'carer element'. 

Find out more about Universal Credit

Am I eligible for Carer's Allowance?

You could be eligible if you:

  • spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who's ill or has a disability (whether you live with them or not)
  • care for someone who receives the higher-rate or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, either rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component, any rate of Attendance Allowance, or another relevant benefit
  • don't earn more than £151 a week (after deductions)
  • aren't in full-time education.

Carer's Allowance is extra money each week for you to use as you want or need to.

If you think you won't be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance because you have some savings, don't worry. Your savings and your National Insurance record won’t make a difference to your claim.

Are you entitled to extra money?

Do you know what benefits you're entitled to? Our online benefits calculator can help you quickly and easily find out what you could be claiming.

Get a free benefits check

How to claim Carer's Allowance

There are a couple of ways to make a Carer's Allowance claim. You can:

  • call the Carer's Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0297

After you submit your claim, you'll receive a decision in writing that will tell you if you've been awarded Carer's Allowance and from what date.

If your claim is turned down, see our information on challenging a benefits decision

Making a claim for Carer's Allowance can affect the benefits of the person you care for. Before making a claim, it's a good idea to . 

More Carer's Allowance questions

When is Carer's Allowance paid?

Carer's Allowance is usually paid on a Monday, either weekly in advance or once every 4 weeks in arrears.

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What if the person I'm caring for or my circumstances change?

If your circumstances change – for example you take a break from caring, stop being a carer altogether, or the person you care for goes into hospital – make sure you let the Carer’s Allowance Unit know.

If you don't let them know about a change in circumstances and you're overpaid as a result, you may have to pay the money back. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) might also impose a civil penalty if you don't let them know about a change of circumstances.

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What happens if the person I care for goes into hospital or moves into a care home?

If the person you care for goes into hospital and their stay is arranged by the NHS, payment of their qualifying benefit will stop after 4 weeks (or 12 weeks in the case of a child with a disability who's under 16). As your Carer's Allowance entitlement depends on the person receiving a qualifying benefit, this will also stop at the same time.

Their benefits and your Carer's Allowance entitlement will also stop after 28 days if the person goes into a care home and their fees are paid in full by NHS continuing healthcare funding, or in full or part by the local authority.

If the person you care for is terminally ill and DWP knows this, their qualifying benefit may continue if they go into a non-NHS hospice. So you'll still receive your Carer's Allowance as long as you still provide care for 35 hours a week.

If the person you care for has regular periods of respite care, it might be possible to plan these periods so their qualifying benefit and your entitlement won't be affected. Seek advice if this applies.

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Does Carer's Allowance count towards my National Insurance record?

If you're entitled to Carer's Allowance and haven't reached State Pension age yet, National Insurance contributions are credited automatically to increase your future entitlement to the State Pension, unless you've kept the right to pay married woman’s reduced-rate contributions.

If you're under State Pension age and you become sick, you may qualify for ‘new style' Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) based on National Insurance credits from when you received Carer's Allowance.

An exception applies to carers, provided you have claimed Carer's Allowance for just 1 week in the last complete tax year before the year that you claim ESA. This type of ESA is not means tested.

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How will Carer's Allowance affect my other benefits?

Claiming Carer's Allowance can increase the amount of means-tested benefits that you receive, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

If the person you care for receives an extra amount in their means-tested benefits because they have a severe disability, you should get advice before claiming Carer's Allowance, as they may lose their benefit as a result.

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Last updated: May 23 2024

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