Benefits for carers
If you care for someone who receives Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate of the care component, the new Personal Independence Payment or Armed Forces Independence Payment, you may be able to claim Carers Allowance.
A word of caution: if you are paid Carers Allowance or the 'carer element' of Universal Credit, it can sometimes affect certain benefits that the person you care for receives and can make them worse off, so it is advisable to get some advice before making a claim by speaking to the Derbyshire County Council Welfare Rights Team on tel: 01629 531535, between 11am and 4pm, Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To qualify for Carers Allowance of £66.15 per week, you must:
- be over 16 - there is no upper age limit
- be providing care for at least 35 hours per week - this might be made up of a variety of tasks such as: personal care, shopping, talking to the person, keeping an eye on them in case of accidents, helping them with tasks around the home. It does not have to be 35 hours of hands-on personal care or help
- not earn more than £123 per week after tax, National Insurance and pension contributions are deducted from your wages
- not be in full time education or study for more than 21 hours a week
- live in England, Scotland and Wales and ordinarily be a resident.
You can claim Carers Allowance alongside other benefits. Your other benefits may be reduced, but your total benefit payments will usually go up or at least stay the same. The Welfare Rights Team on tel: 01629 531535 will be able to help you or you can use the benefits calculator on the Gov.uk website.
Carers Allowance if the person you care for is in hospital or has died
You remain entitled to Carers Allowance and underlying entitlement during short breaks from caring. This is classed as up to 4 weeks in any 6 months and longer if you or the person you care for is in hospital. Carers Allowance can continue to be paid for eight weeks if the person you cared for has died.
Carers Allowance if you're over 65
It's unusual for it to be paid to those over 65, as it cannot be paid alongside a State Retirement Pension.
If you're entitled to a state pension which is higher in value than Carers Allowance, no Carers Allowance will be paid.
However, sometimes it can be beneficial for you to claim even though you cannot be paid, because confirmation of you as a carer can lead to higher amounts of Pension Credit, and rent and council tax rebates. The Welfare Rights Service will be able to advise you.
Further information about Carers Allowance
Claiming Carers Allowance
You can claim Carers Allowance online or print a paper version of the form from the gov.uk website. If you are unable to claim online or access a printer, you can request a paper copy of the form you need from the national Carers Allowance Unit on tel: 0800 731 0297 and return to:
Carers Allowance Unit
Mail Handling Site A
You could get Carers Credit if you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week.
Carers Credit is a National Insurance credit that helps with gaps in your National Insurance record. Your State Pension is based on your National Insurance record. This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the State Pension.
If you are claiming Carers Allowance or Child Benefit for a child under 12 then you won't need to claim Carers Credit as you'll already be getting credits.
You can find out more and claim Carers Credit on the Gov.uk website.
Caring for a child
If you care for a disabled child you can find about more about benefits you can claim on their behalf on the benefits for parent carers page.
Derbyshire Welfare Rights Team
The Welfare Rights Team have a series of factsheets about disability related benefits. They also have information factsheets about appealing benefit decisions, help with housing costs, low income and benefits news. They have also put together a tool kit about Universal Credit and the local services who can provide support in Derbyshire.
The Team can check you and the person you care for are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to and give general advice. They may also be able to represent you at a tribunal.
Contact the Welfare Rights Team on tel: 01629 531535, between 11am and 4pm, Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri or email: email@example.com.
Six means tested benefits including Housing Benefit, Tax Credits, Income Related Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support are being replaced with Universal Credit. You can find out more about Universal Credit and support in Derbyshire on the Derbyshire County Council website. You can also contact the Welfare Rights Helpline for advice.
Benefits for the person you care for
Gov.uk has all the information you need about benefits for the person you care for, but the NHS Choices website also has a lot of helpful information about benefits including Personal Independence Payment and Attendance Allowance. The Welfare Rights Team will also be able to help with any queries you may have.
Other helpful websites and pages
- NHS website - what benefits can carers get?
- Carers UK - help with benefits
- Carers Trust - money and benefits
- DOSH - Care and Support Funding