Carer's allowance

older lady with granddaughters indoors

If you are caring for someone with a disability or health problem‚ you might be able to claim Carer’s Allowance.

Carers Allowance is a benefit for people who care for someone who has a severe disability. Although Carer's Allowance is not means-tested and does not depend on national insurance (NI) contributions, there are rules surrounding your income, the benefits received by the person you are caring for and the amount of time you spend caring for them.

  • The person that you care for must be in receipt of one of the following benefits: Attendance Allowance (AA) higher or lower rate, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component  (high or middle rate), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component (both rates) or Armed Forces Independence Payment (PIP).
  • You must not be in full-time education.
  • You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.
    It doesn’t matter if you don’t live with them and the care that you provide can be given during the day or night.
  • If you are working, you must not earn more than £102 a week
    (after the deduction of allowable expenses such as Income Tax).

Carer's Allowance is paid at £62.10 per week.

You may also receive National Insurance credits each week towards your pension.  Call Silver Line Scotland if you think you may be entitled to two different benefits and are unsure what to do.

If you receive State Retirement Pension you cannot usually receive Carer's Allowance at the same time because of overlapping benefit rules.  If the amount that you receive for your State Pension is less than the rate that Carer's Allowance is paid at (£61.35 per week) then you would receive a 'top up' to this amount.  If your State Pension is above this amount it may still be worthwhile putting in an application as you could be awarded an 'underlying entitlement' to Carer's Allowance.  This means that you would not receive Carer's Allowance directly but you may qualify for means tested benefits (or a higher rate if you are already claiming) such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

In some circumstances the person you care for can lose out financially if you start to claim Carer's Allowance.  This can happen if the person you are caring for is receiving a premium for 'severe disability' within certain means tested benefits.

If you are thinking of applying we would suggest you call Silver Line Scotland on 0800 40 70 80 90 to discuss the rules in full.  You can apply via post, online or by calling the Carer's Allowance Unit to get a form.

Further information

If you are looking for more in depth information about Carer's Allowance see the following factsheet published by our sister charity Age UK.

Download Carer's Allowance factsheet 

Carers UK also have a very useful factsheet that covers the eligibility criteria in depth and overlapping benefit rules.

Download Carers UK factsheet

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Silver Line Scotland :
0800 4 70 80 90

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