If you are a carer, you would be interested in learning whether you can claim benefits. The answer to this question is going to be the focus of the blog post below as we aim to discuss in detail the benefits that a carer can claim in the UK as well as their eligibility criteria.

Can You Claim Benefits If You Are A Carer?

Yes, you can claim welfare benefits in the UK if you are a carer. If you are taking care of someone for at least 20 hours per week, you may be eligible for Carer’s Credit. These are credits that can help in filling the gaps in your National Insurance record which helps in deciding your State Pension, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance and contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance.

To be eligible for Carer’s Credit, you should be able to provide evidence that the person whom you are taking care of claims any of the below-listed welfare benefits:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Personal Independence Payment (daily living part)
  • Disability Living Allowance (the care component either at the middle or highest rate)
  • Child Disability Payment (care component at either the middle or highest rate)

Individuals who claim Carer’s Credit usually do so if they are unable to qualify for Carer’s Allowance. You can claim Carer’s Allowance if you take care of someone for a minimum of 35 hours per week, your income is less than £132 and the person(s) whom you are taking care of receives benefits payments for any of the following:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (at or above the normal maximum rate along with an Industrial 
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (at the basic rate along with a War Disablement Pension)
  • Personal Independence Payment (daily living component)
  • Disability Living Allowance (either the middle or highest care rate)
  • Injuries Disablement Benefit)
  • Child Disability Payment (either the middle or highest care rate)
  • Adult Disability Payment (daily living component)

If you intend to apply for benefits as a carer, you must keep in view that you will not be able to claim Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Credit at the same time. Claimants of Carer’s Allowance are not eligible for Carer’s Credit.

Who Is Eligible For Carer’s Allowance?

To be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you must be aged 16 or over, not in full-time education, and spending at least 35 hours a week caring for a disabled person. Your earnings must not exceed £132 a week from employment or self-employment, after deductions such as income tax, National Insurance and half of your pension contributions. You also must not be subject to immigration control that would stop you from getting benefits. Lastly, the person whom you are caring for claims atleast one of the following “qualifying benefits”:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (the care component at the middle or highest rate)
  • Personal Independence Payment (the daily living component)

To apply for Carer’s Allowance you can either apply online or by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit at 0800 731 0297.

Payments are usually made every 4 weeks into the claimant’s bank, building society or Post Office card account. However, you can also request weekly advance payments.

How Much Can You Claim With A Carer’s Allowance?

You can claim £69.70 as a weekly payment for your Carer’s Allowance claim. However, the amount that you claim will depend on several factors; which are discussed as follows:

If you claim any other means-tested benefits, Carer’s Allowance counts as income when these benefits are worked out. 

If you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you will also get an extra amount of Universal Credit called a ‘carer element’. Additionally, you can get an extra amount called a ‘Carers’ Premium’ or ‘Carers’ Addition’ on top of the basic claim that you get for any of the following benefits: 

  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit

If your Carer’s Allowance is either the same as or less than the other benefit(s) you claim, you will get the other benefit rather than Carer’s Allowance. 

On the other hand, if the other benefit payment that you claim is less than your Carer’s Allowance, you will get the other benefit and the remaining amount of your Carer’s Allowance (after excluding the other amount) on top.

Your Carer’s Allowance will reduce or may be completely revoked if you get the following benefits:

  • State Retirement Pension
  • contributory ESA
  • contribution-based JSA
  • Maternity Allowance

What Other Benefits Can You Claim If You Are A Carer?

Other benefits that you can claim if you are a carer depend on your circumstances.

For instance, you can claim Carer’s Credit to help you fill in gaps in your National Insurance contributions record if you spend at least 20 hours per week caring for someone who is claiming disability benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, or Armed Forces Independence Payment. If the person you care for does not receive any of these benefits, you may still be able to claim Carer’s Credit by completing a Care Certificate.

If you claim any of the following benefits, you can be eligible for a Carer’s Premium as a top-up to your usual payment:

  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Support
  • Universal Credit (carer element)
  • Pension Credit (carer addition)
  • income-related Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

If you care for someone who gets Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance, you may be able to get extra help with your rent or mortgage interest payments. Additionally, you may be entitled to a discount on your Council Tax bill.

If you care for someone with a disability, you may be able to get a Carer’s Passport. This is a special passport which allows you to take them on holiday with you without paying the usual visa charges.

If you are a carer, your local authority may be able to give you extra help with the cost of caring, for example with the cost of transport or respite care.

Your local authority may also provide other services to support you in your caring role, such as Home Care Services, Carer’s Assessments or Carer’s Breaks.

Conclusion:

The above discussion has made it quite clear that if you are someone who takes care of another individual and is claiming disability benefits, you will also be eligible for welfare benefits such as Carer’s Credit or Carer’s Allowance. Additionally, if you are claiming means-tested benefits, you will also be able to claim the carer element (an added payment) in addition to the basic rate of payment you qualify for. 

FAQs: Can You Claim Benefits If You Are A Carer?

Can you claim Universal Credit and Carer’s Allowance?

Yes, you can claim Universal Credit and Carer’s Allowance. However, as your payments increase for other benefits claims, the amount that you can claim for Universal Credit will reduce. 

Can I claim Carer’s Allowance and PIP?

Yes, you can claim Carer’s Allowance while you take care of someone else and claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for your own disability needs.

Do I have to look for work if I am a carer on Universal Credit?

No, you don’t need to work if you are a carer who claims Universal Credit. However, if you are not ab;e to work or look for work, you should provide a good reason to the DWP for doing so,

What can I earn on Carer’s Allowance in 2022?

The amount for Carer’s Allowance is fixed at a weekly rate of £69.70 for 2022-2023. Since this is a non-means tested benefit, your payment will not be affected by other benefits that you claim or any income or savings you may have.

Does Carer’s Allowance affect Council Tax?

Yes, Carer’s Allowance affects Council Tax. If you are a carer, you are disregarded from council tax. This means that you will not be counted as an adult liable for council tax on the property that you live in. This can get you a discount on your annual council tax bill. 

References:

Carer’s Allowance – Citizens Advice

Carer’s Allowance: How it works – GOV.UK

Benefits you can claim as a carer | MoneyHelper

What benefits can you claim if you’re a carer? – Sense

Carer’s Allowance

What is the Carer Premium?