There is a Benefits Adviser Tool on the Government website. This can be used to see which benefits you could be entitled to claim.
As a carer you may be eligible to claim benefits or credits in your own right. Here we cover the main types of benefits you could claim.
You can receive Carers Allowance if:
- You are over 16 and care for someone at least 35 hours per week.
- The person you care for must be in receipt of Attendance Allowance, higher or middle rate care component of DLA, or PIP daily living component.
- You can live with the person, be married to them, or live elsewhere (reasonably close). You don’t have to be related.
- No age limit for carer. Full time students cannot apply.
- If carer works there is an earnings limit of £110pw net.
- Not affected by savings or other income (except some benefits and State Pension but private pensions are OK).
If the person you care for lives alone and claims means tested benefits then take advice before applying for Carers Allowance as it could affect their payments.
State benefits, including State Pension, will reduce your Carers Allowance payment on a £ for £ basis.
It may still be worth applying even if you won’t receive a payment as you receive an “underlying entitlement” which can help with means tested benefits.
If there is no chance you will be entitled to means tested benefits and you have a State Pension over £62.10pw, then we would suggest not apply.
People on Carers Allowance of working age are credited a class 1 National Insurance stamp each week and are exempted from looking for work if they don’t want to.
The award of Carers Allowance can be backdated up to 3 months provided the person you care for’s DLA/AA/PIP started by then. It stops 4 weeks after the person you care for dies, or if they are in hospital over 4 weeks.
The award is a maximum of £62.10pw and is taxable income.
How does Carer’s Allowance effect other benefits?
You cannot be paid Carer’s Allowance while you are receiving the same amount or more from benefits including:
- Bereavement Allowance
- Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Incapacity Benefit
- Maternity Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- State Pension
- Widow’s Pension
However, it still may be worth applying for Carer’s Allowance as you may have an underlying entitlement.
For a complete list of benefits visit Carer’s Allowance Eligibility – Gov.uk
What happens if the person you care for dies?
Carer’s Allowance can continue for up to 8 weeks after the person you care for dies. You must continue to satisfy all the rules other than those related to the care of a disabled person or that person’s receipt of a qualifying benefit.
How to Claim
There are several ways of claiming Carer’s Allowance:
- Contact Carers Bucks on where to get help completing the form
- Contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit and they will send you a form
Their address is: Palatine House, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HB.
Telephone: 0345 608 4321 (Mon – Thurs 8.30am – 5pm, Fri 8.30am – 4.30pm)
- Visit your local Jobcentre Plus Office
- Email Customer Services – Department of Work and Pensions
- Claim online at Carer’s Allowance – Gov.uk
This is a National Insurance credit that helps build your entitlement to the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. It makes sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record. You could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.
For more information visit Carer’s Credit – Gov.uk
If you have a disability yourself, you may be able to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance in your own right.