The main state benefit that some carers can claim is Carer's Allowance.
This allowance is for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone with a disability who receives a Disability Living Allowance (Middle or Higher Rate for Personal Care), Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance (paid as an addition to a War Disablement Pension or industrial disablement benefit).
Carers must not be in full time education or earning above a certain amount. Dependents additions may be payable. It is taxable.
Who qualifies for a Carer's Allowance?
- You must be 16 years old or over
- You must look after someone for at least 35 hours a week
- The person you look after must receive a qualifying disability benefit
- If you work you must not earn more than £100 a week, although this figure is revised every April, so be sure to check (see relevant links below)
- You must not get one of a list of other benefits
- You must be living in the UK when you claim Carer's Allowance
- You must not be a full-time student. This is defined as supervised studying for 21 or more hours per week
How much is Carer's Allowance?
Carer's Allowance is is paid at a standard rate, currently set at £58.45 a week
(as of April 2013).
If you made your claim before 6 April 2010, you may also be able to get extra benefit for your partner or someone who looks after your children. This includes partners who are living together as well as those who are married or in a civil partnership. It includes lesbian, gay or heterosexual partners.
You can only get the extra benefit if the person you are claiming for has earnings below a certain amount and does not get certain benefits in their own right which are worth more than the extra Carer's Allowance.
If you made your claim after 6 April 2010, you can no longer get the extra benefit.
Other Important Information
Make Sure: to check with the person you are caring for before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance since they may lose some of the benefit they receive, such as a severe disability addition, as a result of the Carer's Allowance claim.
Underlying Entitlement: You cannot receive Carer's Allowance and a State Retirement Pension. If however you are a carer who would qualify for Carers Allowance, you may be entitled to what is known as Underlying Entitlement, which may entitle you to benefits that your retirement pension does.
For more information about the Carer's Allowance visit:
You can also claim online via the DWP site.
Or you can share and receive benefits advice online via CarersCentre.com.