Caring can be rewarding but it can also be tiring and stressful, and if you give up work to be a carer it can also have an effect on your finances. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a carer, Carer’s Allowance could help you.
What is Carer's Allowance?
Carer's Allowance is the main welfare benefit to help carers. You may still be able to claim it, even if you don’t think of yourself as a carer.
You don't have to be related to or live with the person you care for to claim Carer's Allowance. It's extra money each week for you to use as you want or need to.
You'll also get National Insurance credits each week towards your pension if you're under pension age.
How much could I get?
Carer’s Allowance is worth £62.70 per week (for April 2017-18) and is usually paid every four weeks
Am I eligible for Carer's Allowance?
If you think you won’t be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance because you have some savings, don’t worry. Your savings and your National Insurance record won’t make a difference to your claim.
You could be eligible if you:
- spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person (you don't have to live with them or be related to them)
- care for someone who receives the higher-rate or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, either rate of Personal Independence Payment daily living component, or any rate of Attendance Allowance
- do not earn more than £116 a week (after deductions)
- are not in full-time education
If you get the State Pension you won’t be paid Carer’s Allowance. But don’t be put off making a claim, because if you’re eligible then you could be awarded extra Pension Credit or Housing Benefit instead.
If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you may be able to get an extra amount because of your caring role without actually applying for Carer's Allowance. This is known as a carer element.
How do I claim Carer's Allowance?
Call the Carer's Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321 (textphone: 0345 604 5312) or visit GOV.UK to download a claim form or make a claim online.
If you need help completing the form, ask your local Age UK if they can help you.
After you submit your claim, you’ll receive a decision in writing that will tell you if you have been awarded Carer’s Allowance and from what date.
If you get turned down, read our information on challenging a benefits decision.
If your circumstances change, e.g. if you take a break from caring, stop being a carer altogether or the person you care for goes into hospital, make sure you let the Carer’s Allowance Unit know.
What should I do next?
Make a claim
Apply online for Carer's Allowance