Carer’s Allowance

In the United Kingdom, Carer’s Allowance is a government benefit designed to provide financial support to individuals who care for someone with a disability or a serious health condition. The allowance is intended to recognise and assist individuals who devote significant time and effort to looking after someone else’s needs.

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you must meet certain criteria. 

Your eligibility

All of the following must apply:

  • you’re 16 or over
  • you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • you’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
  • you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces (you might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in an EEA country or Switzerland 
  • you’re not in full-time education
  • you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • you’re not subject to immigration control 
  • your earnings are £139 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses

The person you care for

The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

  • 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 Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Payment – the middle or highest care rate
  • Adult Disability Payment – daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate

The type of care you provide

  • You need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. This can include:
  • helping with washing and cooking
  • taking the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment
  • helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping

If you get State Pension

You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.

  • You will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment if your pension is £76.75 a week or more.
  • If your pension is less than £76.75 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.

If you get Pension Credit

If your State Pension is more than £76.75 a week, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment, but your Pension Credit payments will increase instead.

Effect on other benefits

Carer’s allowance can affect the other benefits you and the person you care for get.

To apply for Carer’s Allowance in the United Kingdom, you can follow these steps:

Check your eligibility: Before applying, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance. This includes providing at least 35 hours of care per week to someone who receives specific disability benefits, being 16 years or older, not being in full-time education, and meeting the earnings threshold.

Gather necessary information: Collect the required information and documents for your application. This may include your National Insurance number, bank account details, details about the person you care for (such as their National Insurance number and disability benefit information), and information about your income and employment.

Apply online: The recommended way to apply for Carer’s Allowance is through the official government website. Visit the Carer’s Allowance page on the UK government website

Follow the instructions provided and complete the online application form. Make sure to double-check all the information before submitting.

Apply by post: If you prefer to apply by post, you can request a paper application form by contacting the Carer’s Allowance Unit. Fill in the form accurately, providing all the necessary information, and send it to the address provided on the form.

Await a decision: After submitting your application, you will receive a letter acknowledging the receipt of your application. The processing time can vary, but it typically takes several weeks to receive a decision. If there are any issues with your application or additional information is required, the relevant authorities may contact you.

Receive a decision: Once your application has been processed, you will receive a decision letter informing you whether your claim for Carer’s Allowance has been accepted or rejected. If approved, the letter will also include information about the payment schedule and how much you will receive.

If you have any questions or need assistance during the application process, you can contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297