Carer's Allowance

older lady with granddaughters indoors

If you look after your partner, a relative or friend who needs help because they're ill or disabled, then you are a carer. The main welfare benefit for carers is called Carer's Allowance.

Can I claim it?

To claim Carer's Allowance, you must:

  • spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person - you don't have to live with them
  • care for someone who receives the higher- or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, either rate of Personal Independence Payment daily living component, or any rate of Attendance Allowance
  • not earn more than £102 a week (after deductions)
  • not be in full-time education.

If you're under pension age, you'll also get National Insurance credits each week towards your pension.

Carer's Allowance may not be paid if you're receiving a State Pension or certain other benefits, but it's still worth claiming because you could get extra Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit.

If you're claiming Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role without having to apply for Carer's Allowance. This is known as a carer element. However, if you're ill or disabled, you'll only be entitled to a carer element or a disability element - not both.

Carer’s Allowance can sometimes continue for short periods if you or the person you care for goes into hospital, or if you have a break from caring.

If you claim Carer's Allowance, state benefits paid to the person you look after can sometimes be reduced. Before making a claim, contact your local Age UK or call Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65.

How much will I get?

£61.35 per week.

How do I claim?

Call the Carer's Allowance Unit on 0845 608 4321 (textphone: 0845 604 5312) to request a claim form.

You can also download a form or make a claim online on GOV.UK.

Further information

Advice for carers. PDF 2.82 MB. This link opens in a new window. Download the guide Advice for carers (PDF 2.82 MB)

Carers Allowance pdf - opens link in new window Download the Carer's Allowance factsheet (PDF 152 KB)

opens link in new window Download the guide More money in your pocket: A guide to claiming benefits for people over pension age (PDF 2.20 MB)

How Carer's Allowance helped Douglas and Kathryn

'The extra money has made a big difference to our lives. Douglas now gets the proper care he needs with me at home.'

Douglas, 79, spent 40-odd years driving a petrol tanker around the country before he retired at 65. While he loved the job‚ it took its toll on his knees and he is now partially housebound.

'My wife Kathryn and I had no idea that we could claim benefits until we popped in to see Tracy at Age Concern*‚' said Douglas.

Kathryn said‚ 'Douglas was finding it hard to manage on his own at home. His knees made him unstable so he was at risk of injury. I was working part time and was always worried about him when I left the house.

'Tracy changed our lives. She helped Douglas claim Attendance Allowance and then she helped me claim Carer’s Allowance so I could leave my job as a cleaner and stay home full time to look after him.

'The extra money has made a big difference to our lives. Douglas now gets the proper care he needs with me at home and he can pay for physio on his knees. I find we worry less about our gas bills. I am healthier too since leaving my job because the cleaning was taking its toll on me physically.

'And to think‚ all we did was answer some questions and sign the forms. Tracy did the rest! She was wonderful.'

*Age UK was formed by the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged

We are grateful for the generous support of Dr Naim Dangoor CBE
and The Exilarch's Foundation

Your Age UK

Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.

Age UK Advice:
0800 169 6565

Useful downloads

  • This guide looks at both the practical and emotional sides of caring, and where to go for help.

  • A factsheet about the benefit paid to carers.

  • If you’re aged 60 or over, you could be entitled to benefits you haven’t been able to claim before.

    View all downloads
    Help with downloads


    What is a download?

    A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.

    What is a PDF?

    PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.

    Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).

    How do I download a PDF?

    Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.

    How do I install Adobe Acrobat Reader?

    The process is quite straightforward and is free.

    1. Go to
    2. Click ‘Download’.
    3. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Run’, then choose this option.
    4. Click ‘Next’.
    5. Click ‘Install’
    6. Wait for the window to offer you the option to ‘Finish’, then choose this option.

    How do I change a download?

    PDFs cannot be changed.

    How do I print or save a download?

    Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.

    Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.

    Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.

    Can my screen reader read PDF downloads?

    We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.

    You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:

    • Read the document: Shift +Ctrl+Y
    • Read the open page only: Shift +Ctrl+V
    • Read to the end of the document: Shift+Ctrl+B
    • Pause: Shift+Ctrl+C
    • Stop Shift+Ctrl+E

    You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.

Close window
Display options

Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily

Text size


To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: