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Caring overview

If you and/or your partner care for a severely disabled adult or severely disabled child for 35 hours a week or more, and you are eligible for Universal Credit, you may qualify for extra money called the Carer element. The severely disabled person doesn't have to be living with you but must be getting one of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (at either middle or higher rate care component)
  • Personal Independence Payment (at either standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component)

These requirements are also known as the Carer Test. If you meet them, you will be in the no work-related requirements group.

If you don't meet them, your Claimant Commitment may still be adjusted to show the caring responsibilities you have.

If the person you care for stops getting one of the above benefits you will no longer get the Carer element.

You can only get one Carer element even if you are caring for more than one person.

Working while caring

As well as providing support for you as a carer, Universal Credit gives you the opportunity to combine your caring responsibilities with work.

You can combine caring with paid work and continue to receive the Carer element of Universal Credit.

Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is a separate benefit from Universal Credit. You don't need to be getting Carer's Allowance to get the Carer element of Universal Credit.

If you are waiting for a decision or payment on a claim for Carer's Allowance you can still get the Carer element. You may not get the Carer element if your claim for Carer's Allowance is refused.

Carer's Allowance will be taken fully into account (in other words each £1 of Carer's Allowance will reduce your Universal Credit payment by £1) when working out your Universal Credit.

If your Carer's Allowance stops because you are working and earning over £151 a week (from April 2024), you may still get the Carer element.

The information you need to provide

To get the Carer element you will need to report the following information about your caring responsibilities, for example:

  • the name of the person you care for
  • their date of birth
  • their National Insurance number
  • any disability benefits they receive or have applied for
  • the number of hours a week you spend caring for them
  • if you are getting or are entitled to Carer's Allowance
  • the contact details of anyone else caring for the same severely disabled adult or child and if they are getting Carer's Allowance
  • if you receive any income other than Carer's Allowance for looking after someone

You can do this by phoning Universal Credit team on 0800 328 9344.

Other rules about caring

There are other rules about what happens if you: