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Find out if you could apply for the carer element of Universal Credit, if you’re out of work or on a low income.

What is Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a single payment that combines six existing benefits if you’re out of work or on a low income.

If you are already receiving Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role. This is known as the ‘carer element’.

How much is the carer element?

It’s worth £156.45 a month (about £36 a week) for the 2018-19 financial year.

How do I claim Universal Credit?

Visit gov.uk or call the Universal Credit helpline on 0845 600 0723.

What do I need to know about Universal Credit?

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, so if you are in receipt of Carer's Allowance, it will count as income when your means-tests benefits are calculated.

Other such benefits are the carer addition paid with Pension Credit and carer premium, which is a part of Income Support and other allowances, such as Housing Benefit.

As a result, your means-tested benefit will decrease if you are being paid Carer’s Allowance, although you will probably be better off in total. 

Page last reviewed: April 2018