Carer’s Allowance explained

FourthEstate
July 27, 2021
October 26, 2021

By Jane Stanfield, Associate Practitioner

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit of £67.60* a week which you can claim if you are providing regular care to someone.

Qualifying Conditions for Carer’s Allowance

Maximum Earnings Rule

It is important to remember that some expenses can be deducted from your income which might bring your weekly earnings below the limit and allow you to claim.  These include expenses which are purely related to your work such as equipment, special clothing, travel between workplaces if you are not reimbursed for this, but not travel between home and work.  If you pay for someone other than a close relative to provide replacement care to the person you care for while you are at work then these payments too can be deducted, up to a maximum of half your net earnings.

Occupational and personal pensions are not counted as earnings for the earnings limit and are also not overlapping benefits.

Overlapping Benefits

Overlapping benefits are those which are in the same “earnings replacement benefits” group as carers allowance.  The most significant of these is the state pension.  If you are in receipt of a state pension which is higher than the carers allowance rate of £67.60* then you will not be able to get carers allowance. 

Carer Premium

Even if you receive an overlapping benefit, if you are on a low income – either as a single person or a couple – then you may still be able to get the carer premium on a means-tested benefit such as pension credit, which will increase the amount of that benefit you get.  A carer premium is an amount in your means-test calculation which reflects your additional responsibilities as a carer.  It can also help with housing benefit, council tax allowance, and disabled facilities calculations.

To get the carer premium you have to make a claim for carers allowance even if you receive an overlapping benefit; there is a specific form for those in receipt of state pension.  Go to this link and scroll down for the correct form.

Carer’s Allowance claim form – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you are of working age and, having read the qualifying conditions above, you feel that although you are a carer you will not qualify for carers allowance, it may still be possible for you to apply for ‘carers credits’ to protect your national insurance record.

Find out more about Carer’s Credits here.

Have a question?

If you have further questions please contact us here for an individual response. We aim to reply to you within 2 working days.

*correct as at April 2021

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Carer's Allowance is a weekly benefit which you can claim if you are providing regular care to someone
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