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A Guide to Carers Allowance

Carers Allowance is financial assistance for those who help care for someone else.

Overview

If you are eligible for Carers Allowance, you will get £62.10 per week that should be used to help you look after someone who has sustainable need for a carer.

It is not a requirement for you to be related to or live with the person you are caring for.

You have to be over the age of 16 and spend a minimum of 35 hours a week caring for them.

You are taxed on your Carers Allowance and it may impact other benefits you receive.

What Will Carers Allowance Give Me?

You will get £62.10 per week Carers Allowance. You may also become eligible to claim other benefits, such as income related benefits and Pension Credit.

The best thing to do is to use a benefits calculator to work out how much you are entitled to and if any other benefits you claim will be affected.

How Will I Be Paid?

You have 3 options when it comes to Carers Allowance payments:

  • Weekly in advance
  • Every 4 weeks
  • Every 13 weeks

Any sort of benefits, pensions or allowances are paid into an account, such as your bank account.

Does Carers Allowance Affect My Other Benefits?

If you are getting Universal Credit, it could affect the amount you get from other benefits.

Any benefits you currently claim that are means-tested will be reduced by the amount you receive from Carers Allowance. This includes:

  • Housing Benefits
  • Income Support
  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit

There will be an extra amount included in the calculation of your means-tasted benefits. This is known as “the carer premium”.

You could also be eligible for a reduction in your Council Tax.

Remember, the benefit cap limits the amount of benefits people aged 16 to 64 can get. The benefits of some individuals may not be affected, but it may affect the total amount you get in benefits.

Will My Tax Credits Be Affected?

You may find that your Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credits are reduced if you get Carer’s Allowance. You should get in touch with the Tax Credits office, who will have more information about this and your individual circumstances.

Are There Any Effects On The Benefits Of Person I Care For?

Yes, Carers Allowance may impact the benefits of the person you are caring for. This is usually the case if they get a severe disability premium with any of these benefits:

  • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Employment And Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefits

They will no longer receive their severe disability premium if you get Carers Allowance for looking after them. It may also affect their reduction in Council Tax; to find out more about this, you will have to speak to the local council of the person you care for.

What Is Underlying Entitlement?

You are not allowed to get 2 income-replacement benefits, such as Carers Allowance and the State Pension, paid together.

This is known as the overlapping benefit rule. If, because of this, you cannot be paid Carers Allowance, you will have underlying entitlement to Carers Allowance instead.

This could mean you get:

  • The carer premiums in Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support
  • The extra amount for carers in Pension Credit
  • The carers element of Universal Credit

To find out more information about underlying entitlement, you should speak to an adviser on the Carers Allowance helpline. They will be able to help you with your individual case and tell you what you can do next.

How Does Carers Allowance Affect My State Pension?

For each week you get Carers Allowance or the underlying entitlement, you usually also get:

  • National Insurance Credits
  • Contributions towards your Additional State Pension

What Happens If I Care For More Than One Person?

If you are responsible for caring for more than one person, you will still only get paid once a week for Carers Allowances. You can’t get paid more if you take on the responsibilities of looking after more than one person.