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If you spend at least 35 hours each week providing unpaid care to a loved one or somebody else with a disability, illness or other medical condition, you could be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Here, we’ve explained Carer’s Allowance eligibility, including the individual rules for claiming.
You can make a Carer’s Allowance claim online using the GOV.UK portal. You can also call the Carer’s Allowance helpline on 0800 731 0297 for further information and advice. Before applying, you need to tell the person you care for that you intend to do so, as it could affect some of their benefits.
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To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you’ll need to meet certain criteria, split across yourself, the person you care for and the type of care you provide. If you meet the criteria for all three of these categories, you’ll qualify for the benefit.
You’ll need to meet all of the following conditions:
The person you’re caring for needs to receive at least one of the following disability benefits (these are known as ‘qualifying benefits’):
The 35 or more weekly hours of care you provide for somebody could include:
If somebody else provides care for this person and they already claim Carer’s Allowance, you won’t be able to do so as well. You can speak to the other carer and see if they’re willing to change their benefits. If they aren’t, you can still apply. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will then decide who should receive the benefit.
If eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you’ll get £76.75 a week. Paid every four weeks, this is £307. Across a year, you'll get £3,991.
Like many other benefits, Carer’s Allowance rates rose by 10.1% in April 2023. Previously, you would have got £69.70 a week, £278.80 every four weeks and £3,624.40 a year.
This money is usually paid every four weeks and will go directly into your chosen account.
We have an article explaining Carer’s Allowance rates for 2023.
You’re unable to receive the full amount of Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension at the same time. This means that if your pension is worth £76.75 a week or more, you won’t be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, but if your pension is worth less than £76.75 a week, then any Carer’s Allowance payment you receive will make up the difference.
If you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance but already receive Pension Credit, a Carer Addition will instead be added to your award which will cause your Pension Credit payments to increase.
Even if you aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you could still be eligible for Carer’s Credit. You might be able to get this if you spend at least 20 hours a week caring for a person or multiple people.
These credits fill in gaps in your National Insurance record. Your National Insurance record will determine things such as how much State Pension you’ll get, along with whether you’re eligible for contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
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Although Carer’s Allowance isn’t classed as a means-tested benefit, it does still have an earning threshold for eligibility. For the 2023/2024 financial year, you won’t be eligible if you earn more than £139 per week.
A Carer’s Allowance Letter of Award and a valid form of ID can also be used to prove that you’re a carer.
Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.