If you care for someone who claims a disability benefit you may be entitled to Carer's Allowance.
To claim Carer's Allowance you must:
Be aged 16 or over;
Spend at least 35 hours a week looking after the person in need of care;
Have net earnings of less than £116 a week. Any childcare costs or replacement care costs associated with working can be deducted from your earnings when calculating whether you qualify. For more information see work-related costs and Carer's Allowance;
If you are in full-time education, to be entitled you must spend less than 21 hours in 'supervised study', and not doing a course described as full-time by the college or establishment providing it.
In addition, the person for whom you care must be claiming (or waiting to hear about):
Disability Living Allowance (middle or higher rate for personal care),
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.
Personal Independence Payment (Daily Living Component at either Standard or enhanced rate).
You must be over 16 to claim Carer's Allowance but there is no upper age limit. The person you care for can be anyone, including a relative. It can be paid to more than one person in a household, such as a couple caring for each other.
In some cases you may not be able to get Carer’s Allowance paid to you if you have another ‘over lapping’ benefit paid at the same or a higher amount; benefits that commonly overlap are State Pension. Maternity Allowance, contributory Employment and Support Allowance, contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Widows' Benefits and Bereavement Benefits or Incapacity Benefit. However, you may instead be able to get extra money added to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
If the person you are caring for gets a means-tested benefit they may lose their severe disability premium if you start claiming Carer’s Allowance (this does not apply if you are eligible but not receiving any money). For more information see disability premiums in benefits.
How much do you get?
The weekly rate is £62.70. This is reduced by the amount of certain other benefits, including State Pension, that you get. If you receive certain other benefits at £62.70 or more a week, you do not get a Carer's Allowance payment as well but you can get an extra amount called a carer premium in other benefits you may receive.
Even if you don't qualify for Carer's Allowance you may be able to claim carer’s credit, where entitlement to the state pension can be built up by people caring 20 hours a week or more. For more information see Carer’s credit.
Due to the complexities of this benefit, and the potential for it to have a detrimental effect on the benefit of the cared for person, we strongly advise you to seek further advice from a recognised advice agency before claiming Carers Allowance. Your local AgeUK branch or CAB may be able to help, or for more information about advice agencies see our more advice page.
Carer's Allowance and the benefit cap
If you are entitled to Carer's Allowance, even if you don't receive a payment due to other benefits you receive, your household will be exempt from the benefit cap.