What is carers Allowance?
Carers Allowance is a benefit which can be paid to a person if they provide substantial care for a person who is ‘severely disabled’.
Severely disabled in this instance means that the individual concerned qualifies for Personal Independence Payment Daily Living, Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance for Care at least the Middle rate.
The person providing the care must be providing care for a minimum of 35 hours a week and if they are working, must not have an income of more than £139 per week. You do not have to be living with the person that you provide care for.
How much will Carers Allowance be?
If you qualify this will be £76.75 per week and it is classed as a taxable benefit and will partially count as income against other means tested benefits. You will also be credited with National Insurance Credits on the grounds of Caring responsibilities which can be counted towards future state pension entitlement.
If I work and earn over £139 per week, could I still qualify for some Carers Allowance?
Whilst you would not be able to qualify for Carers Allowance in its own right, if you have a low income you might be able to claim Universal Credit which would include a Carer Element in acknowledgement of your caring duties. The only requirement for this is that a person provides care for 35 hours a week.
Carers Allowance is what is termed ‘an overlapping benefit’ this means that certain benefits cannot be claimed together at the same time. Examples of this include Retirement Pension. However, just because there is no actual entitlement you could be awarded the ‘underlying entitlement’ which could provide access to other benefits.
Are there any other entitlements I could claim as a Carer?
If you live with the person that you provide care for, depending on your household composition you maybe eligible for a 25% discount on your council tax as carers are disregarded for the purposes of council tax. You should speak to your local authority for more information.
Claims can be made here – https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance
What is Carers Credit?
Carers Credit is a scheme which you can apply for National Insurance Credits on the grounds of Caring responsibilities for people that may not qualify for Carers Allowance. These credits can be counted towards future state pension entitlement. The person that you care for does not have to be in receipt of a Disability Benefit providing that you provide at least 20 hours a week of care and this can be supported by a clinician.
This can be claimed here – https://www.gov.uk/carers-credit
This advice is provided by our Benefits Advisor, Robert Mandelstam. The information provided above is up to date for the financial year ending 5th April 2024.
We have factsheets and advice on the following topics (these are up to date for the financial year 2023/2024):
If you would like to access this support service, please complete the referral form linked below. This service is available to all those supported by the following charities – whether you are a patient, or someone who cares for someone with one of these conditions.
Once you have completed this form, we will be in touch to book you in with our Benefit Advisor (keep an eye on your junk folder just in case the email goes there!). This service is offered to our six communities without charge. If you have any questions about this service, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Mandelstam is a Welfare Benefit Advisor at The Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Marsden, a charity focused on providing financial, emotional and practical support to those living with cancer. He is now also working to support our six charities as part of the Better Together project. Robert has been working in the field of welfare benefit advice for over 10 years in a range of different settings, namely, the NHS, local authority/housing providers and other third sector organisations. Robert aims to break down the barriers which exist around accessing support for some of the most vulnerable people in society and is adept at providing advice from the initial stages of a claim, through to representation at benefit tribunals.