What is Carers Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance (CA) is a benefit that can be claimed by anyone that is caring for another person. It is not means tested, so other income and capital of the claimant are ignored. However, there is an earnings limit - see below. In order to qualify, it is not necessary to have paid National Insurance contributions. It is a taxable benefit. 

Who can claim carers allowance?

A claimant must satisfy the presence, past presence, and habitual residence test. This means that the UK must be the claimant’s main home, and they must be present in the UK at the time of the claim. In addition, they must have been present for at least 104 weeks in the last 156 weeks. There are some exceptions to this rule, particularly for people from EEA countries and their family members; so please seek advice. A person may qualify for this benefit if the person they are caring for receives:

  • Attendance Allowance or
  • Disability Living Allowance - the middle or the highest rate of care component or
  • the daily living component of PIP – any rate.

The claimant:

  • must be aged at least 16 years
  • must provide care for 35 hours or more per week and
  • can work (but they cannot earn over £139 per week)
  • can be in education but the course must be for less than 21 hours a week.

It is essential that advice is sought if the person that is being cared for is also in receipt of means tested benefits. In some circumstances, a claim for Carers Allowance can result in loss of income for the cared-for person.

How to claim

Call the Carers Allowance Unit on 0800 731 0297 (Textphone: 0800 731 0317) or visit: www.gov.uk/carers-allowance to apply online

A fact sheet from Dudley Council is also available to download.

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