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Carer's Allowance, made simple

If you are in the UK, find out if you're eligible for £3,991 a year to support you in your caring role. 

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for unpaid carers - controlled centrally by the Government. Worth an extra £3,991 a year to support you look after someone, find out in less than three minutes if you're eligible with our simple and free claim checker.

Here’s Suzanne, our Head of Carer Support, with tips on Carer’s Allowance.

Check if you can get Carer's Allowance
How do I claim Carer's Allowance?
How much Carer's Allowance can you get?
How is Carer's Allowance paid?
What If I'm not entitled to Carer's Allowance?
How long does it take to get Carer's Allowance?
Carer's Allowance and other benefits
Can I get Carer's Allowance for caring for more than one person?

What is Carer's Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit you can apply for if you are:

  • Spending at least 35 hours a week looking after someone with a disability, and

  • Earning less than £139 per week 

  • Live in England, Scotland, or Wales for at least two of the last three years

  • Not in full-time education

 

If you're eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you’ll receive £76.75 a week - that’s £3,991 a year. It can be backdated for up to three months. 

Find out if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance, using our free claim checker

 

In less than three minutes, you’ll know if you should apply for Carer’s Allowance. 

Additional payments are available in some parts of the UK.

Take a look at our financial support for carers guide 💰 which includes more help with the cost of caring.

Carer's Allowance Increase 2023

Carer's Allowance has increased by £7.05 per week in 2023, from a total of £69.70 to £76.75. Over the course of a year, someone caring for a friend or family member could expect to see a total of £3,991 in a year, a 10.1% increase on the Carer's Allowance rate in 2022.

How Carer's Allowance works

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit paid by the UK Government, directly to your bank account, building society or credit union account. This is £76.75 a week, totalling £3,991 a year to support you in your caring role. 

 

To receive this, we must be earning below £139 per week (after tax) and caring for a family member or friend for at least 35 hours of our week.

 

You can also choose for Carer’s Allowance to be paid every week or once a month. 

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It’s not uncommon for Carer’s Allowance claims to take a long time to be decided - usually between 13 to 15 weeks. In these situations, it’s helpful to know that it can be backdated for up to three months. ​

 

Once you’re confident we may be eligible, you can apply online for Carer’s Allowance, through the Government’s website.

Can I claim Carer's Allowance? 

Simply find out whether you're eligible for £76.75 a week, using our free checker tool. We'll follow up with a simple email and the next steps. 

Apply for Carer’s Allowance

Once you know that you’re eligible, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance through the Government’s website.

Check if you can get Carer's Allowance

We’ve created a very simple tool to help you find out if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Just fill out a few questions, and we’ll send you a bespoke email on whether you’re eligible and how to apply. Get answers in less than three minutes. 

How do I claim Carer's Allowance? 

If you are eligible, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance through the Government’s website.

 

Before you apply you’ll need to have the following documents to hand:

 

  • Your National Insurance number (and if applicable, your partner’s too)

  • Any bank or building society details you have (unless you get your State Pension)

  • If you’re working, then your employment details and your latest payslip

  • If you’ve recently finished work, then your P45

  • If you’re studying, you’ll need your course details, including the number of hours you’re studying

  • Details of any expenses. Such as the cost of caring for your children or the disabled person while you’re at work. Or any pension contributions you are making. A proportion of your pension contributions can be offset against your weekly earnings, making it more likely you will be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. For example, if you pay £100 per month into a pension, then 50% of that, i.e. £50 can be deducted from your earnings, when calculating your eligibility.

 

  • You will need the following information for the person you care for:

    • Their address

    • Their date of birth

    • If they're over 16, their National Insurance number, and

    • If they’re under 16, their Disability Living Allowance reference

Who can claim Carer's Allowance?

To be eligible you must be:

  • Earning below £139 per week after tax and allowable expenses

  • Spending a minimum of 35 hours each week, looking after someone with a disability

  • If you’re a student, you must not be studying more than 21 hours per week

  • If you’re retired, there are a few more things to consider

 

In addition, the person we're caring for must receive one of the following qualifying benefits:

  • The care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), at either the middle or higher rate 

  • The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at either rate

  • Attendance Allowance at either rate. Or Constant Attendance Allowance of the normal maximum rate, paid with the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

  • Child Disability Payment - the middle or highest care rate

  • Adult Disability Payment - daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate

If you are in receipt of Carer's Allowance, you are automatically eligible for Carer's Credit. This is a National Insurance credit that goes towards your National Insurance contributions. 

As a parent, it didn’t occur to me that I was also a carer for my son with complex needs. Accessing Carer's Allowance has been so helpful to us, especially as I have been unable to return to work.

 

Allowable expenses and deductibles

You must earn below £139 a week to qualify for Carer's Allowance. This is after certain allowable expenses and excludes certain income.

 

Allowable expenses include:

  • 50% of pension contributions

  • Equipment needed to do your job, such as specialist clothing

  • Travel costs, which aren't covered by your employer

  • Childcare costs or replace care costs

  • Business costs if you’re self-employed, for example, a computer you only use for work

Check out our guide ‘Can we care and work?’, to find out more about how working may affect Carer’s Allowance.

Deductible expenses include:

  • Money from an occupational or private pension

  • Contributions towards living or accommodation costs such as from someone you live with (but not a tenant or boarder)

  • The first £20 a week and 50% of the rest of any income you make from someone boarding in your home

  • A loan or advance payment from your employer

How much Carer's Allowance can you get? 

As of April 2023, Carer’s Allowance is £76.75 a week, which means a total £3,991 a year to support you in your caring role. This is paid directly into your bank account, building society or credit union account. 

 

Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit, which means that it is considered income. This may affect how much you receive on your other benefits, such as Universal Credit.

How is Carer's Allowance paid?

Carer’s Allowance is paid by bank transfer to your nominated bank, building society or credit union account. You can choose to be paid your Carer’s Allowance every week or once a month.

Am I eligible for Carer's Allowance?

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you must meet certain criteria, such as earning less than £139 a week, and be caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week. 

 

We’ve created a very simple tool to help you find out if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Just fill out a few questions, and we’ll send you a bespoke email on whether you’re eligible and how to apply. Get answers in less than three minutes.

What if I'm not entitled to Carer's Allowance? 

If you’re not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, we may be eligible for the underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance instead. This underlying entitlement opens up access to other benefits, even if you’re not receiving Carer's Allowance. Such as:

 

• Free prescriptions and dental treatment

• Cold Weather Payment

• Warm Home Discount

• Free TV licence, if you're over 75.

Independent Age, has a useful factsheet.

Plus, check out our benefits and savings toolkit to make sure you and the person you care for are not missing out on other financial help.

How long does it take to get Carer's Allowance?

It usually takes between three and six weeks to receive your Carer’s Allowance decision.

 

But we’re hearing from our community of carers that a backlog of claims means it can take between 12 to 15 weeks.

 

If we're successful, our money can be backdated up to three months prior to our claim date. This is dependent on when you started caring.​

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Give them a call a few days after you have sent off your application! I applied four months ago and have heard nothing back. I didn’t follow up, as my circumstances have changed, and I no longer needed to claim. But I would definitely recommend giving them a call to make sure they have everything they need.

You can get in touch with the Carer’s Allowance Unit team on 0800 731 0297 (Monday - Friday 8am-6pm)

If you've already claimed Carer's Allowance, take a look at our financial support for carers guide 💰 to see what other benefits you may be eligible for.

Carer's Allowance and other benefits

Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit. In simple words, this means that although Carer's Allowance is a benefit, it's also classed as income. As a result, it may affect other benefits you receive or the benefits of the person you care for.

 

For example, if you’re receiving Carer's Allowance, the person you care for will lose their severe disability premium.

 

So it’s always worth checking before you start your claim. It may be helpful to talk to Citizens Advice if you are unsure. 

If you’re considering working, read how Carer's Allowance will affect your benefits, the more hours you take on.

Personal Independence Payment and Carer's Allowance

If you are a carer but you also have your own care needs, you can still claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for yourself. Receiving PIP will not affect your Carer's Allowance.

Disability Living Allowance and Carer's Allowance

If the person you look after is under 16 and is receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA), then this will not affect your Carer's Allowance. This is because DLA is a tax-free benefit and so will not affect any other benefits, including Carer’s Allowance.

Attendance Allowance and Carer's Allowance

You can be both a carer, receiving Carer’s Allowance, and also claim for Attendance Allowance to support yourself. The person you care for may also be eligible for Attendance Allowance. Attendance Allowance is a tax-free benefit and so will not affect any other benefits, including Carer’s Allowance.​

Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit

If you receive Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit, your entitlement to these benefits may be affected if you also receive Carer's Allowance. This is because Carer's Allowance is considered to be income and so may reduce the amount of these benefits you are entitled to receive.

 

If you do receive Child Tax Credit, it’s worth contacting the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and letting them know about your Carer’s Allowance claim to avoid any penalties in the future.

Universal Credit and Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance will be counted as income if you are getting Universal Credit. You can receive both Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit at the same time

Because Carer’s Allowance is considered an income, the same amount will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment. Claiming Carer’s Allowance is still worth doing so that your National Insurance Credits are paid.

 

If you’re receiving Universal Credit, you may also qualify for a Carer’s Element of Universal Credit, which is £185.85 a month on top of your Universal Credit. You don’t need to receive Carer’s Allowance to get the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit. 


To be eligible for the Carer’s Element, you must be caring for at least 35 hours a week. The person you care for must also be receiving these qualifying benefits.

Pension Credit and Carer's Allowance

You also may be eligible for other benefits such as Pension Credit, if you’re on a low income. But as pension credit is a means-tested benefit for those over state pension age and on a low income, it may affect whether we’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance. 

 

Pension Credit is separate from State Pension, and is extra money to help with your living costs such as housing or rent.

State Pension and Carer's Allowance

If your State Pension is less than Carer's Allowance (less than £76.75 per week) you can get the difference paid. This is paid as a top-up, through your Carer's Allowance.

 

For example, if your State Pension is £40 per week, you can get a top-up of £36.75 paid through Carer's Allowance.

 

If your State Pension pays more than Carer's Allowance, you won't be eligible for Carer's Allowance. In this instance, it's still worth making a claim, as sometimes we may still be eligible for an 'underlying entitlement’ to Carer's Allowance.

 

In these circumstances, you should be sent a letter. This will confirm any 'underlying entitlement' to Carer’s Allowance. If you have not received anything, get in touch with the Carer’s Allowance Unit and let them know of the situation. 

You may also be entitled to Pension Credit if your income is low. This opens up further benefits.

📝 Note that any money from a Private Pension is not counted as earnings when considering eligibility for Carer’s Allowance.

Can you get Carer's Allowance for more than one person?

You can only receive Carer’s Allowance for looking after one person. You will not receive more Carer’s Allowance for looking after more than one person.

If you care for the person with others

If there are multiple people looking after the same person, only one person doing the caring can receive Carer’s Allowance.

Effect of Carer's Allowance on the benefits of the person you care for

Receiving Carer's Allowance may affect other benefits you receive or the benefits of the person you care for. For example, if you’re receiving Carer's Allowance, the person you care for will lose their severe disability premium.

 

So it’s always worth checking before you start your claim. It may be helpful to talk to Citizens Advice if you are unsure. 

If you’re considering working, read how Carer's Allowance will affect your benefits, the more hours you take on.

If you've lived outside of the UK

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, we must have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years.

If you're not a UK Citizen

​​Whether you are a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland affects whether you can claim Carer’s Allowance.

 

For example, If you have an EU, EEA, or Switzerland Citizenship, you must provide proof that:

 

  • You made the claim while residing in England, Scotland, or Wales

  • The UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man is your primary residence, and you intend to remain there

  • You've spent the last two out of the last three years living in either England, Scotland or Wales

If you've come from Ukraine because of the invasion

You may be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you:

 

  • Lived in the Ukraine by 31st of December

  • Had to leave because of the Ukraine invasion

  • Received a visa that allows you to stay in the UK

If you're waiting for a decision from the EU Settlement Scheme

You may be eligible to apply for Carer's Allowance if you had the right to reside in the UK on the 31st of December 2020 and have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by the 30th of June 2021.

If you haven't lived in Great Britain for enough time

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, we must have lived in England, Scotland, or Wales for at least two of the last three years (with the exception of Ukraine and Afghanistan).

You've come from Afghanistan since 15th August 2021

If you’ve arrived in the UK from one of the following schemes listed below, you might be eligible for Carer’s Allowance:

 

  • The ARAP, or Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy

  • The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, or ACRS

  • The Afghanistan Locally Employed Staff Ex-Gratia Scheme (ALES)

 

You may also be eligible for Carer’s Allowance if:

 

  • You arrived in the UK from Afghanistan because the government was overthrown on August 15, 2021

  • You have been granted ‘leave to remain’, also known as a ‘settlement’ or ‘indefinite leave’ meaning you have the right to live, work and study here for as long as you like, and apply for benefits if you're eligible. You can then use it to apply for British citizenship.

  • On your immigration documents, ‘no public funds’ is not mentioned.

  • You passed the past presence test and you’re ‘habitually resident’.

 

It's possible that your immigration status will be checked. For example, through a letter from the Home Office, or a stamp/visa on your passport.

What happens to my benefits if I go abroad?

You can continue receiving Carer's Allowance for up to four weeks in a six-month period

This can be extended if you're going abroad temporarily with the person you care for and they're in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.

Can I study and still get Carer's Allowance?

You can receive Carer’s Allowance if you’re not studying more than 21 hours per week. Or if you’re not in full-time education. 

 

If you are studying more than 21 hours a week, there may be extra help to cover the costs of school supplies. Check to see whether your university is offering a Young Adult Carers Bursary.

Carer's Allowance if you are over pension age

If you are over pension age, you can still claim Carer's Allowance if your state pension is less than Carer’s Allowance (£76.75 a week). This difference will be topped up by Carer’s Allowance.

 

If you are over pension age, you also may be eligible for other benefits such as Pension Credit, if you’re on a low income. This is separate from State Pension and is extra money to help with your living costs such as housing or rent.


 

Can I work and still get Carer’s Allowance? 

You can receive Carer’s Allowance if you earn less than £139 per week from your job, after taxes and allowance expenses. 

 

If you're not working fixed hours, taking up more hours, or returning to work it’s worth being mindful of how work can impact your Carer's Allowance

 

What if I’m working and getting Carer’s Allowance? 

If you're currently working and receiving Carer’s Allowance, it’s important to note that if we start earning over £139, our Carer’s Allowance may stop. Take a look at our guide 📖 on how increasing working hours can impact your Carer's Allowance

What else can you get

There are also other benefits you can claim other than Carer’s Allowance to support you in your caring role:

 

Carer's Credit

You may be eligible for Carer's Credit if you are still providing at least 20 hours of care. This is a National Insurance Credit (rather than a payment) that counts towards benefits such as State Pension.

 

Use our simple checker tool to find out if you're eligible for Carer's Credit.

Attendance Allowance

You can claim Attendance Allowance if you are caring for someone and also have a mental or physical health disability of your own.

Carer’s Assessment

A Carer's Assessment is carried out by the local council or local carers service. This could be done in person or over the telephone and may result in financial and practical support.

Help with the cost of caring

We’re a growing community of unpaid carers, and each day we share top tips. And this includes the financial support available to carers.

 

Take a look at our financial support for carers guide 💰 to find out what other benefits you or the person you care for may be eligible for. From help with healthcare costs to energy bills.

Temporary breaks in caring

You can still get Carer’s Allowance, even if you have temporarily had to stop providing care. This refers to any period of time when you spend less than 35 hours a week caring for the other person. The person you care for must still receive their disability benefit

It’s important that you tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) if you temporarily stop providing care.

Backdating a Carer's Allowance claim

Carer’s Allowance can be backdated for up to three months from the date of your application.

If the person you're caring for goes into a care home or hospital

You should always also tell the DWP if you temporarily stop providing care and:

  • you or the person you care for are expected to be in hospital, a nursing home, or respite care for a period longer than 12 weeks

  • you stop caring for a period greater than 28 days, for any other reason

Change of circumstances

Carer's Allowance may stop because of changes to your circumstances, temporary stops in caring, or if the person we care for passes away.

 

You should always report relevant changes in your circumstances to the Carer's Allowance unit. If you do not report changes, you could be eligible to repay funds. 

 

Changes that should be reported, include:

 

  • When you start a new job

  • When you are starting or ending full-time education

  • Any changes to your income

  • If you stop being a carer

  • If the person you care for, no longer qualifies for their disability benefit (in which you may still be eligible for Carer's Credit by completing a Care Certificate). 

  • If someone else takes over the caring role

  • When someone else who cares for the same person, claims the carer’s element of Universal Credit

How do I change Carer’s Allowance over to someone else?

You can’t simply transfer your Carer’s Allowance to someone else. You will need to notify the DWP of your changes in circumstance, to cease your payments. The new carer can then apply for their own Carer’s Allowance for the support they’re giving.

 

They will need to meet the Carer’s Allowance requirements which they can check for free using our tool.

Carer’s Allowance when someone dies

You can continue receiving Carer’s Allowance, for up to eight weeks after the death of the person you were caring for.

 

If the person you care for has passed away, the Government has a ‘tell it once’ service. This means that you report a death to most government organisations in one go rather than multiple times. 

 

Going through this transition period is a difficult time for us. That’s why, with the input of carers in the Mobilise Community, we’ve created a hopefully helpful guide 📖, on what help is out there for us when the person we care for passes away.

How do I stop Carer’s Allowance?

To stop Carer’s Allowance, you can report your changes in circumstance here.

Carer's Allowance Contact Number

Contact the Carer’s Allowance unit by calling them on 0800 731 0297. They’re open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. ​

 

You can also report a change of circumstances through the Government website. Or posting to them at:

 

Carers Allowance Unit

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Wolverhampton

WV98 2AB

Carer's Allowance Form

There are two ways we can apply for Carer’s Allowance. We can apply through the Government website, or by post. Both will require you to fill out a form.

More Carer's Allowance questions

 

"I am still on the old benefits system. Will reporting changes to my caring situation shift my current benefits to Universal Credit?"

The answer is yes. Reporting a change in your caring situation while you’re on the older benefits means shifting to Universal Credit. The old benefits include:

 

  • Housing Benefit

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

  • Working Tax Credits (WTC)

  • Child Tax Credits (CTC)

  • Income support

 

For those of us still receiving any of the older benefits, we will move on to Universal Credit by 2024. This means we won’t be able to make new claims for the old benefits, as they now fall under Universal Credit.

Take a look at our financial support for carers guide 💰 to find out what other benefits you or the person you care for may be eligible for in the meantime.

"Is Carer's Allowance taxable?"

Carer's Allowance is a taxable benefit. But, we will only have to pay tax if we have taxable income from other sources, which together exceed the tax threshold. These could include personal pensions or part-time earnings. 

 

Carer's Allowance on its own falls below the taxable threshold.


Before you start, use our free and easy claim checker, to find out if you’re eligible.

 

If you are, simply hop over to the Government website and start your claim.

Carer's Allowance Supplement 2023

If you’re already receiving Carer’s Allowance and living in Scotland, you’ll automatically also receive the Carer's Allowance Supplement.

 

The Carer’s Allowance Supplement is paid in two parts:

  •  £270.50 which would have been paid in June 2023. We would have gotten this payment automatically if we were receiving Carer's Allowance on the 10th of April 2023. 

  • The second payment of £270.50 will be paid in December 2023 if we're receiving Carer's Allowance on the 9th of October 2023.

 

You will not be able to receive the Carer’s Allowance Supplement if you’re receiving the ‘underlying’ entitlement to Carer’s Allowance

Carer's Allowance is also set to be replaced by 'Carer Support Payment' from Spring 2024 - with the weekly amount staying the same and no breaks in payments.

If you’re a young carer in Scotland (16-18) and caring for an average of 16 hours, you may be eligible for a Young Carer Grant. This is if you’re not already in receipt of Carer's Allowance.

Carer's Allowance in Northern Ireland 

If you’re over 16, live in Northern Ireland, and are caring for someone for at least 35 hours a week, you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. 


You can apply for Carer’s Allowance in Northern Ireland online here.

Carer's Allowance in Wales

To be eligible for Carer's Allowance in Wales, you must be at least 16 years old, and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives a qualifying disability benefit.


You can apply for Carer's Allowance online or by phone.

Carer's Allowance in Wales

To be eligible for Carer's Allowance in Wales, you must be at least 16 years old, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone who receives a qualifying disability benefit.


You can apply for Carer's Allowance online or by phone.

What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer's Allowance Increase 2023
How Carer's Allowance worksAnchor 1
Can I claim Carer's Allowance?
Effects on the benefits of the person I care for
What else can I get?
Temporary breaks in caring
Carer's Allowance Contact Number
Form
Change of circumstances
Taxable
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Wales
Qualifying benefits
Carer's Credit
Attendance Allowance
Carers assessment
Help with cost of caring

How can Mobilise help me?

We've created a free and easy Carer’s Allowance checker that takes you just a few minutes. You’ll quickly find out what support you could receive and, even better, how to actually claim it.

“Mobilise’s checker was so quick and easy - it made me feel heard and I’ve been able to access more help that I didn’t know I was eligible for.  Everyone should take 5 minutes to do this”

“I finally understand what I am eligible for - I can’t believe it was free and so easy. Thank you Mobilise.”

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