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Carer's Allowance

Find out more about Carer's Allowance.

1. What is Carer's Allowance?

Carer's Allowance is money for people who spend at least 35 hours a week providing regular care to someone who has a disability.

The person you care for must be getting a relevant benefit  because of their disability,which in some cases has to be paid at a certain rate.

Carer's Allowance (CA) is paid at £64.60 a week. The amount paid is usually increased each April.

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

You can qualify for Carer’s Allowance whether you are in or out of work, but you must not earn more than £120 a week.

Carer’s Allowance does not depend on national insurance contributions and is not means-tested – in other words not based on your personal income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement.

Carer’s Allowance usually counts in full as income when calculating your entitlement  for means tested benefits.

If you get Carer’s Allowance (or are entitled to it but do not get it because of Overlapping Benefit Rules) you will also get a Carer’s Premium/ Additional amount included in your means-tested benefit ( Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income –related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit and Housing Benefit)
 

Applies to: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Age rules: You must be over 16

Type of benefit: Non means tested (but you mustn't earn over £120 per week)

Taxable: Yes

Administered by: Carer’s Allowance Unit, Department for Work and Pensions

 

Updated: April 2018

2. Can I get Carer's Allowance?

You can get Carer's Allowance if you care for someone for at least 35 hours a week.

The person you care for must be getting a benefit because of their disability, for example:

You do not need to be living with the person you are caring for.

If you are in paid work you might still be able to get Carer's Allowance but you must not earn more than £120 in take home pay each week, certain expenses can be deducted from this.

It does not matter if you have savings as these will not be taken into account.

You do not have to have paid any national insurance contributions to get Carer's Allowance.

You do not qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you are in full-time education or if someone else is already claiming Carer’s Allowance for looking after the same person.

Before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance, you should check with the person you are caring for, as it may affect some of the benefits they receive if you are successful, such as losing a Severe Disability Premium from their:

• Income Support
• income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
• Employment and Support Allowance
• Pension Credit
• Housing Benefit (England, Wales, Scotland) and Housing Benefit (Northern Ireland)

Updated April 2018

3. How much Carer's Allowance will I get?

Carer's Allowance is money that you can spend as you want. The weekly rate is £64.60.

Even if you don't receive a payment of Carer's Allowance due to overlapping benefit rules, entitlement to it allows you to get an extra amount, called 'Carer's Premium or Addition', as part of other benefits, so you should still make a claim. Carer's premiums/additions can be added to or taken into account for:

If you receive Carer's Allowance you also qualify for a Christmas Bonus each year (unless you get one with another benefit). This is usually £10. You do not need to make a claim for the bonus it is paid automatically. It does not affect any other benefits you might get.

Benefit Cap

If you or your partner qualify for Carer's Allowance, you are exempt from the Benefit Cap. See our Benefit Cap guide for more details.

How will I be paid Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

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

Carer’s Allowance and other benefits

Carers are one of the groups that can claim Income Support.

Carer’s Allowance (after tax) counts in full as income when calculating your entitlement to other means-tested benefits.

In some cases, you may meet the conditions for both Carer’s Allowance and another benefit, such as State Retirement Pension or contributory Employment and Support Allowance. As these benefits 'overlap' you may not receive a payment of Carer’s Allowance, even though you would if it weren't for the other benefit you receive.

If the other benefit you receive is worth less than Carer’s Allowance, your other benefit can be 'topped up' to the current rate of Carer’s Allowance so you don't lose out. The rules about overlapping benefits are complicated and you may need to get advice about this from an expert benefits adviser.

 

Updated April 2018

4. How do I claim Carer's Allowance?

If you are waiting to hear if the person you care for is getting a qualifying disability benefit, you should still make a claim.

England, Scotland and Wales

Online Claim

Claim online at the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new window)

Paper Claim

Phone the Carer’s Allowance Unit for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Download a claim form from the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new window)

Northern Ireland

Paper Claim

Phone the Benefit Enquiry Line for a claim form:
Telephone: 0800 22 06 74
Textphone: 028 9031 1092

Phone the Disability and Carer’s Service for a claim form:
Telephone: 028 9090 6186

What documents will I need to claim Carer’s Allowance?

You must send the following documents to support your claim:

• If you are working – the payslip immediately before the period you want to claim from and any received since
• If you are self-employed – the most recent finalised accounts for your business
If you do not have this evidence, you should not delay claiming.

When will my Carer’s Allowance claim begin?

A Carer’s Allowance claim will begin from the date the claim form is received by the benefit office or submitted online.

A Carer’s Allowance claim can be backdated for up to three months before this date if you would have been entitled to it earlier. It does not matter why your claim is late. Request this when claiming.

Change of circumstances

You must report changes in your circumstances which might affect your entitlement to this benefit.

 

Updated: January 2018

5. How do I challenge a Carer's Allowance decision?

If you disagree with the decision made on your Carer's Allowance claim, for example due to incorrect information being used, you can ask for it to be looked at again known as a 'mandatory reconsideration'. If you still disagree with the further decision you can then appeal to an independent tribunal.

The time limits are strict, you will usually be given one month to dispute a decision, so it is important to seek advice and act quickly.

Further information on Challenging Benefit Decisions 

 

Advice and Support

Turn2us is unable to offer advice on individual situations. To find an adviser in your area to discuss your situation with you can use the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool

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