What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is a government benefit to help you out financially if you care for someone close to you.
Find out how much money you can get, whether you qualify for the allowance and how to apply. Watch our short video for a simple outline of what you’ll need to know. You can then find more detailed information below about eligibility and how to apply.
How much is the Carer’s Allowance?
The rate of the Carer's Allowance for 2019-20 is:
£66.15 a week
with a £10 Christmas bonus in December.
Am I eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
You will be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if you meet certain conditions. You must:
- spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who is receiving a qualifying disability benefit (see below), but you don’t have to live with them or be related to them
- be 16 years old or over, live in England, Scotland or Wales (find out about the rules for Northern Ireland)
- not be in full-time education
- earn £123 or less, per week, after tax. This £123 is ‘earned’ income only. It doesn’t take into account benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments.
In addition, the person you care for must receive one of the following benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – either level of the daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the higher or middle rate care component
- Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).
You may also be eligible if your loved one gets Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA).
What effect would claiming have on other benefits I receive?
The ‘overlapping benefits’ rule means that, although you may qualify for two or more earnings-replacements benefits, you can’t receive more than one benefit at the same time.
You can’t usually get Carer’s Allowance if you receive one or more of the following benefits:
- State Pension
- Contributory Employment and Support Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Maternity Allowance
- Bereavement or Widow’s Benefits
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Universal Credit – carer element.
By claiming Carer’s Allowance, any of these other benefits may be reduced, although your total benefit payments will usually be increased or stay the same.
As long as you meet all the conditions for Carer’s Allowance, you may be eligible to receive Carer’s Credit, to help fill in gaps in your national insurance record, or the carer addition of Pension Credit.
You might also be eligible for Carer’s Credit if you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
If you’re about to get your State Pension or are already receiving it, contact the Carers UK advice line below for a benefit check.
Advice line for benefit checks and advice on financial matters:
Normally open Mon and Tue, 10am–4pm
It’s best to seek advice before making any decisions relating to overlapping benefits as this is a complicated area.
How do I claim Carer’s Allowance?
In England, Scotland and Wales
You can apply for Carer’s Allowance online on the gov.uk website or by filling in and posting a DS700 form. If you receive state pension you can use the shorter DS700(SP) version of the form.
Gov.uk (Carer's Allowance)
How it works, eligibility, effects on benefits and how to make a claim.
The Carer’s Allowance number for the Carer’s Allowance Unit is also given here:
You’ll see the results of your claim immediately once it’s submitted. You don’t need a signature or password to claim Carer’s Allowance online.
In Scotland, an additional Carer’s Allowance Supplement is available. This is paid twice a year to eligible Carer’s Allowance recipients (payments are £226.20 in 2019). Read more on the gov.scot website.
In Northern Ireland
Visit the nidirect website for more information.
Filling in the Carer’s Allowance form
Use our Carer’s Allowance form checklist to guide you through the process and fill it in correctly.
What do I need to know about Carer’s Allowance?
If you’re one of a number of people caring for the same person, only one of you can get Carer’s Allowance.
If you care for more than one person, you can claim Carer’s Allowance for only one of them.
- When you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will stop receiving reduced council tax, any extra severe disability payment paid with Pension Credit and a severe disability premium, if that is paid with their benefits.
- If you were entitled to Carer’s Allowance before making a claim, you can ask for it to be backdated for up to three months.
- After you’ve received Carer’s Allowance for at least 22 weeks, you can take up to four weeks’ break from caring and still receive the benefit if you, or the person you’re caring for, goes on holiday.
- If your income changes while you’re receiving Carer’s Allowance, inform DWP as soon as possible or you may risk collecting overpayments, which will eventually be recovered. in 2018-19 DWP detected 93,000 overpayments of Carer’s Allowance.
Read more about how to arrange and fund breaks from caring in our guide to respite care.
If you, or the person you’re caring for, goes into residential care or hospital, you can still get Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks.
Keeping track of the benefits that the person you’re caring for receives
You can help the person you’re caring for find out what benefits they’re on by encouraging them to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
If there is no POA in place, but they would like you to deal with the DWP on their behalf, you can apply for the Role of Appointee. This gives you responsibility for making, and maintaining, any benefit claims.
Our checklist will help you get ready for the Carer's Allowance application and ensure you fill in the form correctly.
If you care for someone, you can arrange a carer’s assessment to find out if you’re eligible for support.
Find out how to apply and prepare for a carer’s assessment and discover what to expect throughout the process.