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Fees & Funding > Carer’s Allowance Eligibility - What Are The Rules For Claiming Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance Eligibility - What Are The Rules For Claiming Carer’s Allowance?

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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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In this article:

  1. Are you eligible for Carer’s Allowance?
  2. How much Carer’s Allowance you’ll get
  3. If you aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance

Are You Eligible For Carer’s Allowance?

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.

Personal eligibility criteria

You’ll need to meet all of the following conditions:

  • You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for one person (you won’t get Carer’s Allowance if you care for more than one person)
  • You’re aged 16 or over
  • You earn less than £151 a week after deducting tax, National Insurance and expenses
  • You aren’t in full-time education or studying for 21 hours a week or more
  • You’ve lived in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for at least two of the last three years
  • You usually live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces)
  • You aren’t subject to immigration control

The person you care for

The person you’re caring for needs to receive at least one of the following disability benefits (these are known as ‘qualifying benefits’):

  • Adult Disability Payment (the daily living component)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Child Disability Payment (the middle or highest rate of the care component)
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic full-day rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Disability Living Allowance (the middle or higher rate of the care component)
  • Personal Independence Payment (the daily living component)

The care you provide for this person

The 35 or more weekly hours of care you provide for somebody could include:

  • Assistance with household tasks such as washing, cleaning, food preparation and cooking
  • Helping out with other household and administrative tasks like managing finances and shopping
  • Providing transport, including to and from doctor’s appointments

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.

We can help you find the best home carer for you or your loved one’s care needs, including domiciliary (hourly) and live-in carers. Request a free list of home care agencies, and our care experts will match you with suitable carers with availability in your local area.

How Much Carer’s Allowance You’ll Get

If eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you’ll get £81.90 a week. Paid every four weeks, this is £327.60. Across a year, you'll get £4,258.80.

Like many other benefits, Carer’s Allowance rates rose by 6.7% in April 2024. Previously, you would have got £76.75 a week, £307 every four weeks and £3,991 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 2024.

If you receive the State Pension

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 receive Pension Credit

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.

What To Do If You Aren’t Eligible For Carer’s Allowance

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).

We’re on a mission to support individuals and their loved ones throughout each stage of their later living journey. For more information, check out everything Lottie has to offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the income threshold for Carer’s Allowance?

Although Carer’s Allowance isn’t classed as a means-tested benefit, it does still have an earning threshold for eligibility. For the 2024/2025 financial year, you won’t be eligible if you earn more than £151 per week.

How do you prove that you’re a carer?

One of the quickest and easiest ways to prove that you’re an unpaid carer is through a Carer’s Card. You can buy these online for £9.99, and they’re often available from your local council as well.

A Carer’s Allowance Letter of Award and a valid form of ID can also be used to prove that you’re a carer.

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Written by our team of experts and designed to help families fund later life care in England.

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