Financial help if you are caring for someone with a disability or illness

Last updated: 24/01/2020

Carer’s allowance

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: £67.25

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 are not entitled to 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%.

Example:

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.

Related information

Carer’s Allowance Unit (Monday – Friday 8 am – 6 pm)  

Telephone: 0800 731 0297

Textphone: 0800 731 0317

www.gov.uk

How to claim carer’s allowance

You can apply for carer’s allowance online at GOV.UK or by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit and asking for form DS700.

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.

Related information

For more information call the Carer’s Allowance Supplement Helpline: 0800 182 2222

Extra money for carers in Scotland

If you are receiving carer’s allowance you will also receive a supplement from the Scottish Government. You do not need to claim the supplement. It will be paid automatically in two equal amounts of £226.20 in June and December.

A new benefit to replace carer’s allowance, called Scottish Carer’s Allowance, will be introduced by the Scottish Government by the end of 2021. It will combine carer’s allowance and the supplement.

Young Carer’s Grant

You may be able to claim a young carer grant if you 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.

Who can get a young carer grant?

  • You normally live in Scotland
  • You are aged 16, 17 or 18
  • You are not entitled to carer’s allowance on the day you claim
  • You are caring for someone, or for more than one person, who has a disability
  • You are providing care for at least 16 hours a week on average
  • No-one else has received a young carer grant in respect of the person you care for in the last year.

Care means being involved in an activity to promote the physical, mental or emotional well being of the person you are caring for.  You must not be providing this care under a contract or voluntarily.

How much you get

The young carer grant is paid once a year and is £300.  You can only get three grants in total.

How to claim

You can can download a paper application form or apply for the young carer grant online at

www.mygov.scot or by calling Social Security Scotland on 0800 182 2222.