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Benefits for Carers

Carers allowance is the main benefit available for anyone who cares for someone more than 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

Carers credit can help with national insurance credits toward your state Pension if you do not get carers allowance but provide caring for more than 20 hours.

Further information can be found in the sections below.

As with all benefits information and applications you may want to speak to a benefits advisor such as citizens advice or a local organisation such as Our barn.

Carers Allowance

Carers Allowance

You could get £62.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits.

You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.

You won’t be paid extra if you care for more than one person.

Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person you care for get. You have to pay tax on it if your income is over the Personal Allowance.

Eligibility

The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:

> Personal Independence Payment - daily living component

> Disability Living Allowance - the middle or highest care rate

> 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

You might be able to get Carer’s Allowance if all of the following apply:

> you’re 16 or over

> you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone

> have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years

> you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces

> you’re not in full-time education

> you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more

> you earn no more than £110 a week (after taxes, care costs while you’re at work and 50% of what you pay into your pension) - don’t count your pension as income

> you’re not subject to immigration control

Effect on other benefits

Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that both you and the person you care for get.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website [external website].

Make a claim

To make a claim you will need:

> your National Insurance number

> the date of birth and address of the person you’re caring for

> your bank or building society details

You may need to provide course details if you are studying, and any employment details including dates and how much you were paid.

You can backdate your claim by up to 3 months.

Use the online claim form [external website] to apply for Carers Allowance.

If you can’t apply online, you can download an electronic version of the form and apply by post [external website]. The address to send your application to is at the end of the form.

Carers credit

You could get Carer’s Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.

Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record.

To get Carer’s Credit you must be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • under State Pension age
  • looking after one or more people for at least 20 hours a week

The person you’re looking after must get one of the following:

  • Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment - daily living component, at the standard or enhanced rate
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. When you apply, fill in the ‘Care Certificate’ part of the application form and get a health or social care professional to sign it.

Carers who don’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Carer’s Credit.

Breaks in caring and eligibility

You can still get Carer’s Credit even if you have breaks from caring (up to 12 weeks in a row).

For example, you’ll still get Carer’s Credit for 12 weeks if:

  • you take a short holiday
  • someone you look after goes into hospital
  • you go into hospital

Keep the Carer’s Allowance Unit updated if you have a break in caring of more than 12 weeks in a row.

How to claim

Before you start

You don’t need to apply for Carer’s Credit if you:

  • get Carer’s Allowance - you’ll automatically get credits
  • get Child Benefit for a child under the age of 12 - you’ll automatically get credits
  • are a foster carer - you can apply for National Insurance credits instead

Apply using a form

Download the Carer’s Credit claim form.

The form includes a Care Certificate - ask a health or social care professional to sign it for you.

You can also get the form by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit.

Carer’s Allowance Unit
Telephone: 0800 731 0297 
Textphone: 0800 731 0317 
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm 
Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Find out about call charges

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