Financial help if you are caring for someone with a disability or illness
Last updated: 02/12/2021
You may be able to claim carer’s allowance if you care for an adult or child who is getting disability living allowance care component at the middle or high rate, personal independence payment daily living component at any rate, or attendance allowance at any rate.
Carer’s allowance: £67.60
Who can get carer’s allowance?
- You must be 16 or over and provide care, day and/or night, for at least 35 hours per week.
- If you care for more than one person for less than 35 hours each you cannot add the hours together in order to claim carer’s allowance.
- You can only receive one award.
- You can still qualify for carer’s allowance, providing you meet the other criteria, if you are disabled or have a carer yourself.
- The person you care for does not have to live with or be related to you.
- If the person you care for has several carers only one can receive carer’s allowance.
The person you care for may be entitled to less benefit if you get carer’s allowance for them. Get expert help from someone with experience in this area such as a welfare rights worker.
You cannot get carer’s allowance if you are a full-time student.
If you are not working, or give up work to care for someone, you may be able to claim the standard allowance and carer’s element of universal credit and carer’s allowance.
As these benefits overlap talk to an adviser about how much you will get.
Earnings and carer’s allowance
You can work and get tax credits or universal credit as well as carer’s allowance but there is a cap on how much you can earn.
If you earn more than the ‘weekly earnings limit’ of £128 you will not get carer’s allowance. However, if you earn over the limit but pay someone, other than a close relative, for childcare you may still qualify as childcare costs can reduce the amount of income taken into consideration for carer’s allowance by up to 50%.
Shona gets disability living allowance middle rate care for her 4-year-old daughter. Shona earns £140 p/w which is too high for her to receive carer's allowance. Shona pays £60 p/w childcare costs when her daughter starts nursery. The earnings are reduced by half of her childcare costs to decide if Shona can get carer's allowance.
£140 earning less half of childcare (£30) = £110.
Shona still gets paid £140 but the amount used to decide if she can get carer's allowance is only £110.
Shona can now get carer's allowance.
Money from tax credits or universal credit does not affect carer’s allowance but carer’s allowance is counted as income so could reduce your tax credit award or universal credit award.
Carer’s allowance may affect entitlement to, or the amount of, other benefits you or the person you care for receive.
How to claim carer’s allowance
You can apply for carer’s allowance online or download the application form at GOV.UK. You can also call the Carer’s Allowance Unit and ask for the application from to be sent to you.
What to do if you are told you can’t get carer’s allowance
If you are told you cannot get carer’s allowance you can ask for the claim to be looked at again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration. After this is done you can appeal if necessary. A welfare rights officer from your local council or Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to help you with this.
Extra money for carers in Scotland
If you are receiving carer’s allowance you will also receive a supplement from the Scottish Government. It is paid automatically into your bank account in June and December.
The supplement is usually £231.40 but the Scottish Government have confirmed that the payment on 15 December 2021 will be doubled to £462.80 because of the extra pressure on carers as a result of the pandemic.
A new benefit to replace carer’s allowance, called Scottish Carer’s Allowance, will be introduced by the Scottish Government. It will combine carer’s allowance and the supplement.
Young Carer Grant
If you are 16 to 18 years old and care for an adult who is getting personal independence payment daily living component, disability living allowance care component at middle or highest rate or attendance allowance, you may be able to claim a young carer’s grant.
The grant of £308.15 paid once a year and you may be able to get it for 3 years.