What is Carer's Allowance?

A question we get asked a lot is whether, as an unpaid carer, you’re able to apply or register for our carers card if you’re also claiming Carer’s Allowance.

The simple answer to this is yes. However, let’s talk a little more about Carer’s Allowance because there maybe some of you that are unsure what it is and whether you can get it.

Ok, let’s start with some basics. To make it easy we’ve divided what Carer’s Allowance is in 5 easily digestible areas.

What is Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is a government benefit in the United Kingdom designed to support individuals who provide regular care and assistance to someone with a disability or a severe illness. It is aimed at helping unpaid caregivers with the additional costs and financial burdens that arise from their caregiving responsibilities.

What you need to claim Carer’s Allowance

To qualify for Carer's Allowance, certain eligibility criteria must be met. The caregiver must be at least 16 years old, spend at least 35 hours per week caring for a disabled person, and not earn more than a specified threshold. You can find out exactly how much a week by visiting the Government website (https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance). It’s also possible that the person you support of care for can get specific disability benefits such as the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Financial Support and Entitlements

Carer's Allowance is a non-means-tested benefit. What’s this means is that it’s not based on your, as the car giver, income or savings. You’ll receive a specified amount each week which is paid directly into your bank account. It’s important to note that this can have an impact on other means-tested benefits that you or the person you care for might receive.

Other Support

In addition to Carer's Allowance, unpaid carers may also be eligible for other forms of financial support. For example, if they are already receiving certain income-related benefits, they may be entitled to a Carer's Premium, which provides extra financial assistance. Furthermore, carers might be eligible for additional support through local authorities, such as respite care services, counselling, or training opportunities. It’s worth doing some additional research as you may be entitled to even more.

Applying for Carer's Allowance

Unfortunately, you won’t be informed whether you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance without applying for it first. To apply for Carer's Allowance, you can complete an application online or request a paper application form. You can start your application here:


Alternatively, you can seek assistance using the contact details below

General enquiries
Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

Carers Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
WV98 2AB

The application requires details about the caregiver's personal information, the person they care for, and relevant financial information. It is advisable to gather necessary documents, such as National Insurance number, bank details, and relevant benefit award letters, before starting the application process.

Need to know more? It's always a good idea to consult official government sources or relevant agencies for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding Carer's Allowance in the UK.

Why unpaid carers should apply for Carer’s Allowance

I you are an unpaid carer living in the UK then we think you should seriously consider applying for Carer's Allowance and here are several reasons why.

Financial Support

Carer's Allowance provides a weekly payment that can help alleviate some of the financial burdens that come with caregiving. It can assist with covering additional costs such as transportation, specialised equipment, or other expenses related to providing care.

Recognition and Validation

At CarersCardUK we’re all about recognising unpaid carers and the work they do. This is why we always suggest applying for Carer's Allowance as it acknowledges the significant role carers plat and their dedication. It recognises the value of their caregiving contributions and provides a sense of validation for the work they do.

Access to Other Benefits

Receiving Carer's Allowance can also open doors to other means-tested benefits, such as an increase in means-tested benefits for the person being cared for or additional financial assistance through the Carer's Premium. It's important to check the specific eligibility criteria and potential impact on other benefits before applying.

Improved Social Security Contributions

Carer's Allowance is considered a qualifying benefit. What this means is that it can contribute to a caregiver's National Insurance record. This can have a positive impact on their entitlement to the State Pension and other social security benefits in the future.

Enhanced Support and Services

Applying for Carer's Allowance may lead to access to additional support services, respite care options, counselling, or training opportunities through local authorities or charitable organisations. These resources can help carers maintain their well-being and develop necessary skills for their caregiving role.

As mentioned before, it's always important to note that eligibility criteria, payment rates, and benefits can change over time. We recommend that you consult Government sources or relevant agencies for the most up-to-date information before applying for Carer's Allowance.

Most commonly asked questions

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most commonly asked questions we get about Carer’s Allowance.

Q: Am I eligible to receive Carer's Allowance?
A: It depends. To be eligible for Carer's Allowance, you must be at least 16 years old, spend at least 35 hours per week caring for a disabled person, and not earn more than the specified threshold. The person you care for must also receive specific disability benefits.

Q: How much is Carer's Allowance?
A: As of 2021-2022, the standard weekly rate for Carer's Allowance was £67.60 which is usually paid directly into your bank account. However, tis figure is subject to change so please check Government sources or relevant agencies for the most up-to-date information on how much you could receive.

Q: Can I receive Carer's Allowance if I work or receive other benefits?
A: Yes. You can receive Carer's Allowance while working, but your earnings must not exceed the earnings threshold. However, it’s important to note that receiving Carer's Allowance may affect other means-tested benefits both you and the person you care for receive.

Q: Can I receive Carer's Allowance if I care for more than one person?
A: Unfortunately not. You can only receive Carer's Allowance for one person. If you care for multiple individuals, you should choose the person who provides the highest level of care or who has the oldest claim for certain benefits. You may want to seek additional help to assist you with this.

Q: Can I receive Carer's Allowance if I live with the person I care for?
A: Yes, you can receive Carer's Allowance even if you live with the person you care for. Living arrangements do not affect eligibility.

Q: Do I need to have paid National Insurance contributions to receive Carer's Allowance?
A: No. Carer's Allowance is not based on National Insurance contributions. However, it is a qualifying benefit, meaning it contributes to your National Insurance record.

Q: How do I apply for Carer's Allowance?
A: The only way to apply for Carer's Allowance online is through the official government website (https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance) or request a paper application form. You cannot or should not apply for Carer’s Allowance through an untrusted third party as your application requires personal information, details about the person you care for, and relevant financial information. However, you are able to get assistance with completing your application through your local care organisation or hub.

Q: How long does it take to process a Carer's Allowance application?
A: The processing time for Carer's Allowance applications can vary. In general, it can take up to 12 weeks to receive a decision so be prepared to wait for it. However, it may be quicker in some cases depending on factors such as the demand on social services.

Q: Can I backdate my Carer's Allowance claim?
A: Yes. We’re pleased to say that Carer's Allowance can be backdated for up to three months before the date you submitted your application, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria during that period.

Q: Can I receive Carer's Allowance if I am a student?
A: Unfortunately, in most cases, full-time students are not eligible for Carer's Allowance. However, there are some exceptions, such as if you receive certain disability-related benefits or are on a work placement or industrial placement as part of your course. If you are unsure then please contact Government sources or relevant agencies.

Can I apply for a carers card if I already claim Carers Allowance?

Of all the questions we get asked, the question as to whether carers can still apply for our carers card while claiming Carer’s Allowance is probably the most asked of all. The answer to this question is simple – YES. All we‘re focused on is supporting you as a carer. Carer’s Allowance is only assisting you in your role as a carer. You are not being paid to care in a professional capacity and therefore you are certainly eligible for our carer card!

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