Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

Part 1: Overview

Carer’s Allowance is £59.75 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.

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

You need to be aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable. It can also affect your other benefits.


Part 2: What you’ll get

You can get £59.75 a week Carer’s Allowance.

You may also be able to claim other benefits, eg an income-related benefit and Pension Credit.

Use the benefits adviser to work out how much you can get and if your other benefits will be affected.

How you’re paid

You can choose to be paid either weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks.

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account, eg your bank account.

The benefit cap puts a limit on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. The benefit cap started to affect some local councils from 15 April 2013.

Effect on other benefits

A new benefit called Universal Credit started to be introduced in some areas of the country from 29 April 2013. If you get Universal Credit, it might affect how much you get from other benefits.

If you get Housing Benefit you’ll get extra towards these (called a ‘carer premium’). You might also get Council Tax Reduction.

If you get the following benefits you’ll get Carer’s Allowance, but these benefits are then reduced by that amount:

  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

Call the helpline or use the benefits adviser to find out how Carer’s Allowance affects other benefits.

Benefit Enquiry Helpline
Telephone: 0800 88 22 00
Textphone: 0800 24 33 55
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Underlying entitlement

You can’t normally get 2 income-replacement benefits (eg Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension) paid together.

This is called the ‘overlapping benefit rule’. If you can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because of this rule, you have ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance instead.

This might mean you could get:

  • the carer premiums in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support
  • the extra amount for carers in Pension Credit
  • the carer element in Universal Credit


Part 3: Eligibility

Conditions you must meet

You might get Carer’s Allowance if you:

  • are 16 or over
  • spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
  • are in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, eg members and family members of the Armed Forces
  • have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years
  • are habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands
  • are not subject to immigration control (unless you’re a sponsored immigrant)

There are some exceptions to these conditions if you’re living in another EEA country.

Conditions the person you care for must meet

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

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
  • 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 (AFIP)
  • Personal Independence Payment daily living component

Use the benefits adviser to check your eligibility for benefits.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) started to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) from 8 April 2013 for people aged 16 to 64 with a health condition or disability.

If you’re a carer you don’t need to do anything now, unless your circumstances change.


You may not get Carer’s Allowance if:

  • you’re in full-time education, and studying for 21 hours a week or more (this includes supervised study and things like coursework and experiments, not just time spent with a tutor)
  • you earn more than £100 a week (after tax)
  • you get one of the benefits listed below

If you get any of the benefits listed below and they pay you £58.45 or more you may not get Carer’s Allowance. Instead, Jobcentre plus will work out if these benefits can be increased or if you’re entitled to other benefits.

  • Bereavement Allowance
  • contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Industrial Death Benefit
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension
  • training allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement – paid with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Pension
  • War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
  • Widowed Mother’s Allowance
  • Widowed Parent’s Allowance
  • Widow’s Pension


Part 4: How to claim

You can apply for Carer’s Allowance:

  • online
  • by post – use one of the DS700 forms below

You can also get a form by contacting the Carer’s Allowance Unit.

What you need to know

It can take 4 to 6 weeks to process your claim.

If someone else looks after the same person, only one of you can get Carer’s Allowance.

If you were entitled to Carer’s Allowance before claiming it, you can ask for it to be backdated for up to 3 months.

Appeal a decision

You can appeal a decision about your Carer’s Allowance if you’re unhappy with it.

Download ‘Leaflet GL24 – Appeal against a benefit decision’ (PDF, 4.9MB)



Part 5: Further information

If your circumstances change

Tell the Carer’s Allowance Unit if your circumstances change as this can affect how much you get.

Report a change online, by phone or by post.

Examples of changes include income, employment, holidays or stays in hospital.

The person you care for

Carer’s Allowance can affect the person you care for, eg their:

  • severe disability premiums
  • Pension Credit – severe disability element

Your State Pension

Usually, for each week you get Carer’s Allowance or the underlying entitlement you also get:

Credits help to fill in any gaps in your National Insurance record. This can mean that you’ll still get the full State Pension and other benefits. These credits generally stop:

  • in the tax year you reach State Pension age
  • if you get the underlying entitlement and Widow’s Benefit or Bereavement Benefit


Other relevant links


Last updated: 14 May 2013

Permanent link to this article: