Money Wellness
A carer helping an elderly woman

Benefits for carers

As a carer, you may be entitled to certain benefits. In this guide, we outline those benefits and explain if you’re eligible and how to apply.

If you’re not sure whether you’re getting all the financial support you’re entitled to, why not try our benefits calculator to make sure you’re not missing out.

Or, if you prefer, we can go through this together over the phone. Call us on 0161 518 8285. We’re here 8am-8pm during the week and from 10am-4pm over the weekend.

Carer’s allowance

If you spend a lot of time looking after someone with a disability or an illness, you may be able to get carer’s allowance.

What is carer’s allowance?

If you spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone with a disability or an illness, you may be able to claim carer’s allowance.

The help you provide to the person you care for might include:

  • taking them to doctor’s appointments
  • managing bills
  • shopping
  • washing
  • cooking

How much is carer’s allowance?

Currently (2024/25), carer’s allowance is £81.90 a week.

Can I claim carer’s allowance?

To qualify for carer’s allowance, you must:

  • be aged 16 or over
  • not be in full-time education
  • look after someone for at least 35 hours a week
  • earn no more than £151 a week (after tax deductions and certain expenses)
  • be caring for someone who receives a disability benefit
  • have been in the UK for 104 out of the 156 weeks leading up to your claim
  • usually live in the UK

You don’t have to be related or live with the person you care for.

You won’t be paid extra if you care for more than one person.

If the person you look after has more than one carer, only one of you can claim carer’s allowance.

Which disability benefits must the person I care for get?

The person you look after must be receiving one of the following:

  • personal independence payment - the daily living part
  • attendance allowance
  • disability living allowance - the middle or higher care rate
  • constant attendance allowance at or above the normal maximum rate paid under the industrial injuries scheme
  • constant attendance allowance at the basic (full-day) rate paid under the war pensions scheme
  • armed forces independence payment
  • child disability payment (Scotland) – at the middle or higher care rate
  • adult disability payment (Scotland) - the daily living part at the standard or enhanced rate

The state pension and carer’s allowance

If your state pension is £81.90 a week or more, you won’t be able to get carer’s allowance.

If your state pension is less than £81.90 a week, your carer’s allowance payment will make up the difference.

If you get pension credit

Although you won’t get carer’s allowance if your state pension is more than £81.90 a week, your pension credit payments will increase instead.

Carer’s allowance and your national insurance record

You automatically get class 1 national insurance credits for each week you receive carer’s allowance.

Class 1 credits help build your entitlement to certain state benefits:

  • new-style jobseeker’s allowance
  • new-style employment and support allowance
  • maternity allowance
  • some bereavement benefits
  • the state pension

Check your national insurance record.

Will carer’s allowance affect other benefits?

Carer’s allowance may affect the other benefits received by you and the person you’re looking after.

Effect on the benefits of the person you care for

If you start getting carer’s allowance, the person you look after will usually stop getting:

  • a severe disability premium paid with their benefits
  • an extra amount for severe disability paid with pension credit

Contact whoever pays the severe disability payment to see if it will stop once you start getting carer’s allowance.

The person you care for may also stop getting reduced council tax once you start claiming carer’s allowance. Their local council will be able to confirm this.

Effect on your benefits

If you claim carer’s allowance, your other benefit payments may change. But overall, your benefit payments are likely to go up or stay the same.

Use our benefits calculator to work out the effect on your other benefits.

How do I claim carer’s allowance?

You can make a claim for carer’s allowance online.

Or you can make a claim for carer’s allowance by post.

If you can’t print out the form yourself, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit to ask for a form.

Telephone: 0800 731 0297

Textphone: 0800 731 0317

If you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can use Relay UK: 18001 then 0800 713 0297.

Find more information, including details of any call charges.

If your circumstances change

If you’re claiming or have applied for carer’s allowance, you must report changes in your circumstances.

Changes you need to report include:

  • changing jobs
  • earning more than £139 a week
  • stopping being a carer
  • providing less than 35 hours of care a week
  • going on holiday or into hospital – even if you arrange replacement care
  • the person you look after going on holiday or into hospital or a care home

You could be fined or taken to court if you don’t report a change in circumstances.

Carer’s allowance in Scotland

Carer’s allowance is being replaced in Scotland by the carer support payment. Find out what this will mean for you.

Carer’s credit

If you’re not eligible for carer’s allowance, you might be able to get carer’s credit.

What is carer’s credit?

Carer’s credit helps to fill in gaps in your national insurance record. You don’t get paid any money but you get a class 3 national insurance credit.

This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your state pension eligibility. Class 3 national insurance credits also protect your eligibility for some bereavement benefits.

Can I get carer’s credit?

To qualify for carer’s credit you must:

  • be 16 or over
  • be under state-pension age
  • have caring responsibilities that take up at least 20 hours a week

The person you look after must usually be receiving one of the following:

  • personal independence payment - the daily living part
  • attendance allowance
  • disability living allowance - the middle or higher care rate
  • constant attendance allowance
  • armed forces independence payment
  • child disability payment (Scotland) – at the middle or higher care rate
  • adult disability payment (Scotland) - the daily living part at the standard or enhanced rate

If the person you look after doesn’t get one of these benefits, but you can get a health or social care professional to confirm your caring duties, you may still be able to get carer’s credit. When you apply, fill in the ‘care certificate’ part of the form and get them to sign it.

How do I apply for carer’s credit?

Download the carer’s credit claim form.

If you can’t print out the form yourself, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit to ask for a form.

Telephone: 0800 731 0297

Textphone: 0800 731 0317

If you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can use Relay UK: 18001 then 0800 713 0297.

Find more information, including details of any call charges.

Carer premium

If you’re a carer in receipt of a means-tested benefit, you may be entitled to some additional money.

What is the carer premium?

If you get one of the following means-tested benefits, you may be able to get a carer premium/addition/element added to it:

  • universal credit
  • income support
  • housing benefit
  • pension credit
  • income-related jobseeker’s allowance
  • income-related employment and support allowance
  • council tax support (rate relief in Northern Ireland)

How much will I get?

In 2024/25, the carer premium and carer addition payments are £45.60 a week.

The carer element that you might get with universal credit is worth £198.31 a month.

How do I claim the carer premium?

You can ask about the carer premium/addition/element at your local Jobcentre Plus (Jobs and Benefits Office in Northern Ireland). But it is generally added to your benefit payment automatically, if you’re eligible.

Effect on your means-tested benefit payment

If you claim carer’s allowance while you’re also claiming a means-tested benefit, your means-tested benefit payment will go down slightly. But, because of the addition of the carer premium/addition/element, overall you should be better off.

Disability living allowance for children

If you’re the parent/guardian carer or a disabled child, you may be able to get disability living allowance (DLA) for children.

What is disability living allowance for children?

DLA for children is designed to help with the cost of looking after a child who:

  • is under 16
  • struggles to walk or needs much more looking after than a child without disabilities

How much will I get?

DLA for children is made up of two parts or components: the care component and the mobility component. You might qualify for one or both components.

There are three weekly rates for the care component:

Care component

Weekly rate

Lowest

£28.70

Middle

£72.65

Highest

£108.55

There are two weekly rates for the mobility component:

Mobility component

Weekly rate

Lower

£28.70

Higher

£75.75

Can I get disability living allowance for children?

To claim DLA for children, you need to be their parent or look after them as if you’re their parent. This might include guardians, grandparents, foster parents, older brothers or sisters, or step-parents.

You can claim DLA for children if you’re in or out of work.

Find more information on the eligibility criteria for DLA for children.

How do I claim disability living allowance for children?

If you live in England or Wales, download the DLA claim form.

If you can’t print out the form yourself, call the DLA helpline to ask for a form.

Telephone: 0800 121 4600

Textphone: 0800 121 4523

If you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can use Relay UK: 18001 then 0800 121 4600.

Find more information, including details of any call charges.

If you live in Northern Ireland or Scotland, the procedure is different.

Find out applying for DLA for children in Northern Ireland.

Read about Scotland’s equivalent benefit – the child disability payment.

If your circumstances change

Contact the DLA helpline if your circumstances change.

Changes you need to report include:

  • changes to your child’s personal details e.g. their name, address or doctor
  • changes to their condition or the amount of help they need
  • a deterioration in your child’s condition that means they’re not expected to live more than 12 months
  • your child going into hospital or a care home
  • your child going abroad for more than 13 weeks (or more than 26 weeks if they’re going for medical treatment for an existing condition)
  • your child being held in detention or sent to prison
  • a change in your child’s immigration status

You could be fined or taken to court if you don’t report a change in circumstances.

When your child turns 16

On turning 16, your child will need to apply for personal independence payment.

Carer’s assessment

If you’re a carer, you can have an assessment to see what help you might be able to get from your local council to make your life easier.

What sort of help might I get?

A carer’s assessment might recommend things like:

  • help with taxi fares if you don’t drive
  • help with housework and gardening
  • help from someone who can take over caring for a bit so you get a break
  • a gym membership so you can exercise to relieve stress
  • help from a local support group
  • advice on benefits you may be able to get

How do I get a carer’s assessment?

Anyone over 18 can ask their local council for a carer’s assessment and there’s no charge.

If you’re caring for an adult, contact adult social services.

If you’re caring for a child, contact the children with disabilities department.

Grants for carers

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it might be worthwhile checking to see if you’re eligible for any grants. This is money you won’t ever have to pay back.

Lots of charitable organisations offer grants to people in a range of different situations.

Check the Turn2Us grants directory to see if you’re eligible to apply for any.

Debt help for carers

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your debts, get in touch for free debt advice. We can help with:

  • creating a realistic budget you can stick to
  • making sure you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to
  • checking if you’re eligible for any grants
  • advice on debt solutions that could reduce your monthly payments and even write off some debt

All of our advice is free and impartial, and speaking to us and finding out your options won’t affect your credit score.

Some of our debt solutions are free. For others there’s a fee. A debt solution may affect your credit score.

We’ll explain the benefits and considerations of all suitable debt solutions if this is something you’re interested in, so you have all the facts before making a decision.

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