You may be eligible for carers allowance if you are aged 16 or over and spend 35 hours a week providing care to someone who doesn’t already receive full-time assistance from another individual. The individual you care for must have a disability, illness or age-related condition which necessitates at-home support and assistance.
If the person you care for is receiving a benefit (Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, ESA, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit) and its amount exceeds Carer’s Allowance, then they can continue receiving it up to 8 weeks after their death.
Your Carer’s Allowance payment is calculated based on a personal rate plus additional amounts for any dependent children. If you are parenting alone, then the full-rate increase applies; otherwise, half the increase applies if you live with another adult such as a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant.
It’s a means-tested benefit that doesn’t depend on your earnings or savings, but it is taxable and may affect other benefits you are receiving. Before applying, contact a welfare benefits adviser to determine if this benefit is the best fit for you.
Do I qualify for Carers Allowance if I’m a carer who cannot work due to my own disability or health issue?
If you wish to adjust your benefit status, notify The Department for Work and Pensions or Disability and Carers Service immediately. This includes asking them for a new benefit if circumstances have altered, as well as asking them to stop caring for the individual you are caring for.
If someone you care for recently received a qualifying benefit, you must claim it within three months of them receiving it. This could be up to three months after their last month of receipt – you don’t need to explain why.
To qualify for Carer’s Allowance, there are certain conditions you must meet. For instance, you cannot work more than 18.5 hours a week nor participate in an education course.
Can I take any holidays while claiming carers allowance?
Yes, you are allowed to take a holiday if it is short enough and meets all the necessary conditions. Make sure that you arrange care for the person you’re caring for while you’re gone so they won’t go unattended. However, if the break lasts more than a few days, make sure you inform The Department for Work and Pensions or Disabled and Carers Service beforehand.
Does carers allowance count towards my National Insurance contributions?
With Universal Credit you will receive a “Carer’s Allowance”, which reduces your National Insurance contributions by 1% if you earn less than £132 per week from work after expenses and allowances have been taken into account.