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Carer's Allowance

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Carer's Allowance

Find out if you could be eligible for Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit specifically for carers. It is paid at £67.60 per week. This page explains who is eligible for Carer's Allowance, how to claim it, and where to find other support if you are an adult carer.

If you would like any more information, you can phone the Age Scotland helpline for free on 0800 12 44 222 or download our information guide about Carer's Allowance. 


Who is eligible?

To qualify for Carer's Allowance, you must:

  • Spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person (it does not matter whether or not you live with them). The 35
    hours can include time spent physically helping or doing practical
    things like supporting them to eat or keeping an eye on them.
  • Care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance,
    Disability Living Allowance care component (at the highest
    or middle rate), Personal Independence Payment daily living
    component (at either rate), Armed Forces Independence
    Payment or Constant Attendance Allowance.
  • Not be in full-time education or earning more than £128 a week.

Unsure if you're eligible?

Call the Age Scotland helpline today on 0800 12 44 222 to speak with an adviser. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. 


How do I apply?

You can apply by contacting the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297. (Textphone: 0800 731 0317)

Alternatively, you can download a form or make a claim online by visiting
www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/how-to-claim.

If you were entitled to Carer’s Allowance before you made a claim, you can ask for it to be backdated for up to three months when you apply.


What if I am already receiving State Pension?

State Pension and Carer’s Allowance are ‘overlapping’ benefits. This means that if your State Pension is more than £67.60 a week, you will not be paid Carer’s Allowance. However, if your State Pension is less than this, you can claim Carer’s Allowance to top it up to £67.60 a week.

If you receive State Pension of more than £67.60 a week, and also
qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you will be awarded an ‘underlying entitlement’ to Carer’s Allowance. This means you meet all the criteria for Carer’s Allowance, but that it will not actually be paid to you because your State Pension is too high.

The good news is that this underlying entitlement may entitle you to extra money paid with any means-tested benefits you claim, such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit. This extra money is known as a carer premium, or carer addition.

State Pension Age

Check your qualifying age using the UK Government's State Pension age calculator


What will happen to any benefits claimed by the person I care for?

If the person you care for receives a severe disability premium or addition as part of a means-tested benefit they claim, this extra money will be stopped if you receive Carer’s Allowance. An underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance will not affect the benefits of the person you care for.

You can get advice from the Age Scotland helpline if you think the benefits of the person you care for may be affected by your claim.


Carer's Allowance Supplement

Most people in Scotland who receive Carer's Allowance receive an automatic six-monthly payment of Carer's Allowance Supplement from Social Security Scotland.

From April 2021, the rate will be £231.40 per payment. The Carer's Allowance Supplement is usually paid in June and December. 


Other help for Carers

If you are looking after someone such as your spouse, partner, parent or other relative, you are a carer - even if you don't think of yourself as one because you are 'just doing what anyone would'.

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives you the right to support from your local council in your caring role in addition to support to help you improve and maintain your health and wellbeing.

You can find more information about your rights as well as tips to look after your wellbeing in our guide for adult carers in Scotland

Support for Adult Carers

You can find out more about other support you may be entitled to as a carer on our Advice for Carers page

The Age Scotland Helpline

Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free to speak to an adviser. Our advisers can perform entitlements checks and help you to claim if you're missing out. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. 

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