Benefits for Carers
The main benefit available to carers is Carer’s Allowance. In order to be eligible to receive this benefit you must satisfy all of the following:
- Provide 35 hours or more care per week
- Have an income of less than £102 per week
- Not be in full time education (21 hours or more each week)
In addition to this, the person you are caring for must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- The higher or middle rate of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component
- Personal Independence Payments
- Attendance Allowance
- Constant Attendance Allowance with either Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or War Disablement Pension
Carer’s Allowance is currently £61.35 per week and should increase each April in line with other social security benefits. People in receipt of Carer’s Allowance also receive an additional £10 Christmas payment.
If you receive a State Pension in excess of £61.35 per week you cannot receive Carer’s Allowance. However you should receive an ‘underlying entitlement’.
If you receive Carer’s Allowance, or an ‘underlying entitlement’ you may be eligible for a carer premium. This means that an additional amount will be added to any means-tested benefit you claim such as Income Support, Pension Credit and Housing and Council Tax Benefit.
However, if the person you care for receives means-tested benefits their total amount may be reduced when Carer’s Allowance is paid to a carer. If the person you care for does receive means-tested benefits and you are thinking of applying for Carer’s Allowance it is recommended that you call either:
- Age Concern Luton (01582 456812) for advice on benefits for older people
- Citizens Advice Bureau (0844 245 1285) for general benefits advice.
Carer’s Credit helps ensure that carers do not lose out on National Insurance Contributions whilst they are caring but not in paid employment. Carer’s Credit is paid automatically if you receive Carer’s Allowance. Alternatively you will need to apply for Carer’s Credit by calling the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0345 608 4321.