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How to Apply for Carer’s Allowance

A younger woman going through information on a laptop with an older woman whilst they're sitting on a sofa
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: May 01, 2024
3 minutes read

Even before the pandemic, care costs were going up and people had to find ways of making things more affordable. More often than not, this meant cutting into your own time and doing things yourself. Fortunately, if you care for someone for 35 hours a week, you could qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

What Is Carer’s Allowance?

As another form of taxable income, Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people who are giving regular care to disabled people or those unable to look after themselves. The amount is constant and doesn’t increase the more you work or the more people involved. If anything, it’s meant to support full time workers who have to spend their spare time looking after friends, family, loved ones or anyone unrelated.

The type of care you need to provide can come under helping with the washing and cooking, taking the person to and from a doctor’s appointment, and helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping. This needs to take at least 35 hours a week.

Eligibility

You can only claim Carer’s Allowance if you meet certain criteria. This also applies to the person you’re caring for.

The Cared For

The person you’re giving the care to must be in receipt of one of the following:

  • Personal Independence Payment

  • Disability Living Allowance

  • 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

  • Child Disability Payment – the middle or highest care rate

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

Bear in mind that there is a chance their benefit entitlement can change if you start claiming Carer’s Allowance.

The Carer(s)

If you’re caring for someone alongside other people, you can’t make a claim for Carer’s Allowance if someone else is already claiming it. Similarly, you can’t claim it if anyone already claims:

  • Carer Support Payment

  • The extra amount of Universal Credit for caring for someone with a disability related benefit

In a situation where you’d like to claim it, speak to anyone else involved to see if their benefits can be changed. Alternatively, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will decide who should receive it.

Your Eligibility

In order to qualify, you need to meet all of the below:

  • 16 or over

  • Spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone

  • Been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years

  • Normally live in England, Scotland or Wales (or abroad in the armed forces)

  • Not in full time education

  • Not studying 21 hours or more a week

  • Not subject to immigration control

  • Earning £151 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and permitted expenses

If you’re claiming your pension, you cannot claim Carer’s Allowance if you receive more than £81.90 a week. If it’s less, the allowance will simply top up any amount to this limit.

When you’re paid, this can be weekly in advance or every four weeks. Additionally, you’re able to backdate it by up to three months. Don’t forget that it counts as taxable income.

How to Claim

It’s relatively simple to apply for Carer’s Allowance. All you have to do is apply through the government website, submit a postal claim form or call 0800 731 0297.

When applying for the allowance, you need your details and the details of the person you care for. These include National Insurance numbers, employment details, date of birth and address.

Other Claims You Can Make

Marriage Tax

You’re able to receive a tax break of up to £1,258 if you make use of Marriage Tax Allowance. You can also do this if you’re claiming your pension. It’s a benefit of marriage that you should make use of if you’re eligible.

Start your claim by clicking on the button below.

Mis-sold PCP

Car finance agreements through personal contract purchase (PCP) and hire purchase (HP) could have been mis-sold for a number of different reasons. This can include hidden commissions, unexplained details or poor or negligent information. If you’ve ever had a vehicle on PCP or HP, you could qualify.

Start your claim by clicking on the button below.

Unaffordable Lending

Whether you’ve taken out a store card or loan, lenders can be guilty of providing you with unaffordable lending. This can happen if they don’t check your financial eligibility properly or increase your limit without consulting you. As a result, you could struggle to pay it back or to make ends meet.

To make a claim for unaffordable lending, click on the button below.