A Guide to Carer’s Allowance a benefit to help people who look after someone who is disabled or ill. You don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for.
The information in this section is a guide only. The Carer’s Allowance Unit – who will handle your claim – can answer any questions you may have about claiming and getting Carer’s Allowance (see below).
Who can’t get Carer’s Allowance?
You can get Carer’s Allowance if you’re aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.
You need to be caring for somebody who is getting one of the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate for personal care
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
If someone else is also looking after the same person, only one of you can get Carer’s Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance can only be paid for caring for one person.
Carer’s Allowance can be claimed by more than one person in a household, such as a couple caring for each other.
Carer’s Allowance is not affected by any savings you may have.
If you have come from, or live, abroad
To be eligible, the following must apply:
- you must have been present in the UK or the Isle of Man for at least 26 weeks in the 12 months prior to your date of claim
- you must be in the UK when you make your claim
- you are not subject to immigration control
Certain people can be treated as being present in the UK. For example, if you are a member of the Armed Forces, or living with a member of the Armed Forces, and you are based abroad, you are regarded as living in the UK.
If you leave the UK to live elsewhere in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, your Carer’s Allowance may continue to be paid to you under certain conditions.
Under certain conditions you may also be able to make a claim for Carer’s Allowance if you already live in another EEA country or Switzerland.
How much do you get?
If you receive certain benefits equaling the weekly rate, you won’t get Carer’s Allowance as well.
You may be able to get an additional amount for your husband, wife, civil partner or someone living with you who looks after your dependent children.
How it’s paid
Carer’s Allowance is paid directly into any account of your choice that accepts Direct Payment of benefits. This might be a bank, building society, Post Office® or National Savings account.
You may be able to get someone else to collect your Carer’s Allowance if you wish. For help with this contact your bank, building society or other account provider for example a credit union.
If you would like more information about how you can be paid by other means contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit – details are in the ‘How to claim’ section below.
Effect on other benefits and entitlements
Getting Carer’s Allowance may affect any other benefits, allowances, pensions and entitlements you, or the person you care for, receive.
How to claim
There are several ways of making a claim for Carer’s Allowance: you can claim online, ask for a claim form to be sent to you or you can download a form from this page.
If you live in Northern Ireland
The information on this page applies to residents of England, Scotland and Wales. If you live in Northern Ireland, please go the the nidirect website for details about how to claim Carer’s Allowance in Northern Ireland.
You can only claim Carer’s Allowance online if you live in England, Scotland or Wales.
To claim online, use the Carer’s Allowance e-service and follow the on-screen instructions to complete an electronic form to claim Carer’s Allowance.
Contact the Carer’s Allowance Unit
The Carer’s Allowance Unit can send you a claim form. Tell them if you need the claim form in alternative format, such as Braille.
Their address is Carer’s Allowance Unit, Palatine House, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 1HB
Telephone: 0845 6084321
Textphone: 0845 6045312
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Lancashire PR1 1HB
Ask a local office for a form
You can get a claim form from any Jobcentre Plus office or pension centre.
Download the claim form
You can download help notes and a claim form to print off and complete.
If you download the form, please complete and return it as soon as possible as the date your form is received will affect the date from which you will start to receive Carer’s Allowance.
If you get any amount of State Pension, you can make a claim for Carer’s Allowance using a shortened claim form. It contains help notes.
When to claim Carer’s Allowance
Claim now if you look after someone who is getting or has recently been awarded:
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate of the care component
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate as an addition to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the basic (full day) rate as an addition to a War Disablement Pension
Do not delay or you could lose benefit.
Claim later if you look after someone who has not yet claimed one of the benefits mentioned above, or has claimed but is waiting for a decision.
The person you look after should consider claiming one of these benefits straight away if they have not claimed already. If they are awarded one of the benefits, you should claim Carer’s Allowance straight away.
Claiming other benefits and entitlements
If you qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you may also be entitled to:
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Support
Changes in circumstances – for you or the person you care for
Changes to your circumstances – and those of the person you care for – can affect your eligibility for Carer’s Allowance, or the amount you get.
For example, changes to your income or employment, if you go into full-time education or take a break from caring.
What else you should know
If you receive Carer’s Allowance and move to another country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you may continue to receive it under certain circumstances. Follow the link below to find out more.
If you are already living in another European Economic Area country or Switzerland, you may be able to claim Disability Living Allowance (care component only) under certain circumstances. Follow the link below to find out more.
Carer’s Allowance – British Sign Language and subtitled film
A short film about Carer’s Allowance – which is presented in British Sign Language, narrated and also subtitled – can be downloaded from Directgov. You can also view three films about disability benefits, including Disability Living Allowance. The information is also available on DVD, which you can request to be delivered to you.
More about Carer’s Allowance