Many people caring for someone with substantial care needs are unaware they can claim carer’s allowance if they are over 16 and care for that person for at least 35 hours a week. Carer’s allowance is currently paid at the rate of £64.60 per week.
Receipt of carer’s allowance could affect any benefits being received by the person being cared for, especially if they are in receipt of severe disability allowance, so this should be checked carefully before any application is made.
Anyone receiving carer’s allowance is eligible to claim other benefits at the same time, although these may be reduced. A benefits calculator is provided by the government to enable applicants to find out whether they may claim carer’s allowance and what effect receipt of carer’s allowance may have on their other benefits.
Carers who don’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Carer’s Credit. To get Carer’s Credit you must be aged 16 or over, under State Pension age and be looking after someone for at least 20 hours a week.
The person being cared for must be in receipt of one of the following benefits:-
- Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate
- Attendance Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment (the daily living component at the standard or enhanced rate)
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can still receive Carer’s Credit for up to 12 weeks even if you have breaks from caring if for example you should go on holiday, the person you look after goes into hospital or if you should go into hospital. You should however keep the Carer’s Allowance Unit (0800 731 0297) updated if you have a break in caring of more than 12 weeks in a row.
For more information on applying for Carer's Allowance or for assistance with the management of personal affairs, please contact a member of our Personal Affairs team.