What is Carer’s Allowance and who can get it?

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people aged 16 or over, who earn less than £116 per week and  who spend 35 hours or more a week caring for a person who:

  • has a severe disability
  • receives the middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance; or
  • receives the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment; or
  • receives the care component of Attendance Allowance.

You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

Is it means tested?

Carer’s Allowance is not taxable, means tested, or based on any National Insurance Contributions. Savings and unearned income do not affect Carer’s Allowance, but earnings from work do.

If you are already receiving an income replacement benefit, such as a state retirement pension, universal credit or income based employment and support allowance you may not receive Carer's Allowance as they are subject to the 'overlapping benefit rules'. 

However, you will still receive a Carer's Premium which may increase the amount of the other means tested benefits that you receive.

If the person that you care for receives the Severe Disability Premium then they will lose that benefit once you start receiving Carer's Allowance. It could also have an impact on your means tested benefits. 

You should consider what the impact will be on your benefits, and the benefits of the person that you care for before applying for Carer's Allowance. Citizens Advice can carry out 'better off calculations' or you can do your own using the Turn2Us benefits calculator.

Benefits of Carer's Allowance

You will get National Insurance contribution credits, which count towards your entitlement to contributory benefits. 

You can also earn up to a set amount of money in addition to your Carer’s Allowance net of tax, contributions and allowable expenses - such as paying someone else to care. However, you must tell the Carer’s Allowance Unit if you plan to take on any work.

As mentioned above, you will be entitled to the Carer's Premium, which may increase the amount of means tested benefits you receive.

How to get Carer's Allowance

We can advise you in person - contact our help and advice line. Or you can find out more on the gov.uk website.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

We've compiled some useful answers to come of your frequently asked questions around Carer's Allowance.

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.

Is Carer’s Allowance means tested?

Carer’s Allowance is not a means tested benefit, but you can receive an extra amount as there is a carer's premium added.

This is included for basic allowances in income support; income related employment and support allowance; pension credit; housing benefit; and/or council tax benefit.

You will also qualify for a Christmas bonus.

What are the advantages of claiming Carer's Allowance?

You will get National Insurance contribution credits.

You can also earn up to a set amount of money in addition to your Carer’s Allowance net of tax, contributions and allowable expenses - such as paying someone else to care. However, you must tell the Carer’s Allowance Unit if you plan to take on any work.

Useful resources

We've created the following factsheets to help you with the benefits application, assessment and follow-up process:

  • Delays in receiving benefits (PDF, 52 KB) - this factsheet explains the options that may be available to you whilst you're waiting for your first payment.
  • Mandatory reconsiderations (PDF, 48 KB)  - this factsheet explains what to do if you wish to challenge a benefit decision.
  • Reasonable adjustments (PDF, 425 KB) - this factsheet explains what changes should be made by the Job Centre and DWP for people with a learning disability who are looking to claim benefits.
  • What happens next (PDF, 367 KB) - this factsheet sets out what should happen after your Care Act assessment.
  • Reviews and new assessments (PDF, 219 KB) - this factsheet is for people who already receive care and support through a package of social care and what they can expect from the review and assessment process.

How to get the support you need

Contact the Learning Disability Helpline, our advice and support line, for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at FamilyHub? This is our online community for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability, and is a place for sharing experiences, advice and support.

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