Carer’s benefits and money
The main financial benefit available to carers is Carer’s Allowance.
To be eligible to receive this benefit you must satisfy all of the following:
- You’re 16 or over
- You spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
- You’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
- You normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces (you might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in an EEA country or Switzerland)
- You’re not in full-time education
- You’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
- You’re not subject to immigration control
- Your earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses (that is for the tax year 2021/2022)
The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance
- 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
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
How much am I entitled to?
Updated September 2021
Carer’s Allowance is currently paid at £66.60 a week. If you receive a State Pension in excess of £66.60 per week you cannot receive Carer’s Allowance, however you should receive an ‘underlying entitlement’.
If you receive Carer’s Allowance, or an ‘underlying entitlement’ you may be eligible for a Carer Premium. This means that an additional amount will be added to any means-tested benefit you claim such as Income Support, Pension Credit and Housing and Council Tax Benefit. However, if the person you care for receives means-tested benefits their total amount may be reduced when Carer’s Allowance is paid to a carer. If the person you care for does receive means-tested benefits and you are thinking of applying for Carer’s Allowance it is recommended that you call either:
- Contact Carers Central on 0300 3030201 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297
Report a change in circumstances
You must report any change in your circumstances if you are claiming or have applied for Carer’s Allowance.
This includes if you get a job, temporarily stop providing care for someone or stop being a carer altogether.
If you do not report changes straight away or give wrong or incomplete information, you could be paid the wrong amount and have to pay it back. You could also have your Carer’s Allowance stopped, get a fine or be taken to court.
You must tell the Department for Work and Pensions if the person you are caring for dies.
If you temporarily stop providing care for someone
You can take a break from caring for any reason for up to four weeks in every 26 weeks and still be paid Carer’s Allowance. You must have been providing 35 hours or more of care a week for at least 22 of the past 26 weeks (up to eight weeks of a stay in hospital for either you or the person you are looking after can be included in the 22 weeks. The person you have been caring for must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for that period.
Carer’s Allowance will continue to be paid for up to 12 weeks if you go into hospital. You must have been providing 35 hours or more of care a week for at least 14 of the past 26 weeks. The person you care for must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for that period. Carer’s Allowance will stop if your total breaks add up to more than 12 weeks in the past 26 weeks.
It can be difficult to understand this complex topic so call the team at Carers Central on 0300 3030201 or email us email@example.com
You can continue to be paid Carer’s Allowance for a temporary period whilst you are abroad if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You go abroad with the person you look after, they continue to receive a qualifying disability benefit (this is likely to be a maximum of 26 weeks) and the purpose of your trip is to look after them
If the person you look after goes into hospital
If the person you look after goes into hospital and you are no longer providing care for at least 35 hours a week, you can continue to get Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks or until their disability benefit stops.
If you are looking after a child who was under 18 when they went into hospital, their disability benefit can continue to be paid for the whole time they are there.
If you look after an adult aged 18+ their disability benefit will stop after 28 days and may stop sooner if they have been in hospital or residential care in the 28 days before this current stay.
Contact Carers Central on 0300 3030201 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A new carer claiming Carer’s Allowance
If you have been made redundant and are now providing 35 hours of unpaid care to a family or friend you may be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you are caring for must be in receipt of one of the benefits mentioned above.
Reduction in working hours
Some unpaid carers who work part time may be still eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance. If you earn £128 or less per week, and the person gets specific benefits, you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance.
You have the right to ask for flexible working
See the Carers UK website for useful information about flexible working.
Some of the information for carers can be complex.
Don’t worry, we can help you.
Sally and Levi are here to help explain the information on all of these websites, so please contact us for free and confidential assistance.
Getting some help with money
If you’re an unpaid carer there may be financial support out there to help you. Find out what’s available and how to apply with our list of links to useful websites and services.
Links to local help:
The Disability Resource Centre – Benefits Advice provides confidential, independent and free advice and support to carers. The up-to-date information and advice provided is available to people of any age and with any disability, older people, their families, carers, friends and associated professionals throughout Bedfordshire and Luton.
You can also make appointments with the expert benefits advisors who can give more specific advice such as benefit checks and help with form filling e.g. Carers Allowance, Personal Independence Payments and Attendance Allowance.
Carers UK provided information on the benefits that unpaid carers may be entitled to. This includes Carers Allowance.
Age UK has a trained team of staff and volunteers who can give independent advice on many topics for older people in Luton. Age UK also have a money matters page on their main website which includes information on benefits and more.
Luton Council can give you advice on housing benefits to help with your rent payments and council tax support to help with your council tax payments.
Links to online tools & useful websites:
Advice Guide Benefits Info – Compiled by the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Benefits Calculator – Find out what benefits you are entitled to.
Benefits for the over 50s – Find out about benefits in older age.
Benefits for those with disabilities – Info from the GOV.UK website about benefits if you have a disability.
A government website providing information on how to claim Carers Allowance.
Providing information about welfare benefits and tax credits and how you can work out which ones you might be entitled to.
Information from a government website providing information on tax credits, child benefit, income tax, national insurance, self-assessment, coming to the UK, pensioners and information for the self-employed.
The Veteran’s Gateway puts veterans and their families in touch with the organisations best placed to help with the information, advice and support they need – from healthcare and housing to employability, finances, personal relationships and more.
Provides advice on housing, welfare benefits and debt.