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Carer's Allowance: Everything You Need to Know

• Written by Kyle

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If you are caring for a loved one, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This is a benefit for individuals who provide regular unpaid care.

Providing frequent care can put a strain on finances, meaning it is important you get support where possible. Carer’s Allowance can help.

What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a regular welfare benefit currently paid at £69.60 a week. The amount paid out is not based on income or existing capital; there is, however, a cap on how much you can earn to remain eligible for Carer’s Allowance. It is a taxable benefit.

Am I Eligible?

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you need to provide care to a person for at least 35 hours a week. The nature of this care may include helping with washing and cooking, taking the person you are caring for to appointments, or helping with household tasks and/or shopping. The person you care for needs to receive one of the following:

  • 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

You must not be earning more than £128 a week (after deductions) and cannot be in full-time education. Deductions include income tax, National Insurance, and pension contributions. If you share care responsibilities with another person, only one of you is permitted to claim Carer’s Allowance.

However, you do not have to be related to the person you are caring for. This means you can claim Carer’s Allowance if you are providing care to a friend or neighbour.

Effects of Other Benefits on Carer’s Allowance

Other benefits can affect how much Carer’s Allowance you receive. If you are currently in receipt of your State Pension, you will not receive the full amount of Carer’s Allowance. If the amount of State Pension you receive surpasses the amount you would receive in Carer’s Allowance, you will not be eligible to receive the benefit. However, if your State Pension is less than the amount you would receive in Carer’s Allowance, the difference is paid by this benefit.

This extra amount is known as a Carer’s Premium or Carer’s Addition. It may seem quite complicated, so be sure to speak to Citizen’s Advice if you have any questions.

Though you may not be able to receive any money from Carer’s Allowance, it may still be worth making a claim. This is because you may be awarded an “underlying entitlement”.

Underlying Entitlement

If you have an underlying entitlement, you meet the criteria for Carer’s Allowance, but you cannot receive the money. This is likely because it overlaps with another benefit, such as your State Pension. An underlying entitlement, however, means that your benefit allowances may be increased, or it could help you qualify for a different means-tested benefit.

Remember, though, that mean-tested benefits are dependent on your income and savings.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance

To claim Carer’s Allowance, you will need to submit an application form. This can be found on the official government website. Be sure to read all the information on this page before you start.

Alternatively, you can download a form to fill in and post.

Any questions about your application should be directed to the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297.

What To Do If You Don’t Qualify

If your application is unsuccessful, you still have some options. You can request a written statement of the reasons they have decided to reject you. This can then be used when you request a “mandatory reconsideration” – the first step of the appeals process. It gives the benefits office an opportunity to reconsider their decision.

To request a mandatory reconsideration, you will need to write back to the address on your original decision letter. You should specify why you think the decision was wrong and provide evidence to support your claim. The request should be submitted as soon as possible after receiving the initial decision.

A mandatory reconsideration notice will be provided in the post, which will tell you whether the claim has been granted or denied. You will usually have a month in which to appeal the decision.

Information on appealing a decision can be found here.

Support from Lifeline

Even if you are providing regular care, you cannot always be there for your loved ones. Fortunately, Lifeline Alarms are always there for you. Our devices offer peace of mind by providing 24/7 support in case of accident or illness. A simple press of the button calls for help, putting your loved one in contact with our professional Response Team.

Our service includes a base unit and a comfortable pendant alarm.

For more information, read our guide to the Lifeline alarm service or give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400.

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2 Thoughts On This Blog
Elaine Marnie says:
26/02/2022 at 7:10

I am currently receiving universal credit of£304 also PIP of £238 I am of poor health and have been for long time with new illnesses which I told pip about my health has deteriorated badly And don't seem to manage can you tell me if I'm entitled to carers allowance or could My daughter claim it as she's the one who helps me most but I'm not sure what benefits she gets has 3 kids oldest being 12 But autistic think she claims universal credit herself plz can you advise me thank you

Kyle says:
28/02/2022 at 8:03

Hello Elaine, Thank you for your comment. Your daughter may be able to apply for Carer's Allowance if she is caring for you for at least 35 hours a week, and is earning less than £128 per week. We would advise getting in touch with Citizens Advice, as they will be able to give you additional information and point you in the right direction. We hope this has been helpful. Kind regards, Lifeline24

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