Action for Carers Surrey
Enabling carers to have a voice and realise a life outside caring

Carer's Allowance

The main benefit for carers is the Carer's Allowance, currently worth £62.10 a week from 1 April 2015. It’s not means-tested or based on national insurance contributions but there are certain criteria you must meet in order to be eligible.

In order to qualify for Carer’s Allowance, you must:

  • be aged 16 or over and caring for a disabled person for 35 hours a week or more
  • not earn more than £110 per week (less certain deductions)
  • not be in full-time education
  • not already be receiving one of a number of other state benefits, including State Retirement Pension, although you may still have an underlying entitlement
  • satisfy UK residence and immigration rules.

The person you care for must:

  • be getting a qualifying disability benefit such as either Attendance Allowance
  • or the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • or the daily living component at enhanced or standard rate of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • or Constant Attendance Allowance paid as part of a war or industrial disablement pension 

You may also be entitled to the Carer Premium or the Carer Addition, depending on other benefits you receive.

Attendance Allowance is a weekly cash payment for disabled people who are aged 65 and over, while Disability Living Allowance, or PIP is for disabled people under 65. The person you look after may also be entitled to earnings replacement benefits. 

Those currently receiving DLA will be reassessed over the next couple of years and some claimants will be transferred to PIP. You will be sent information from the Dept of Work and Pensions when this applies to you.

As with all State benefits, we recommend that you seek advice as the rules are not straightforward and depend to some extent on individual circumstances.

Contact your local Carers Support Scheme, Citizen's Advice Bureau, or online at www.gov.uk (previously known as www.directgov.uk) or see CarersUK website: www.carersuk.org.