According to Carers UK there are currently around 6.5 million carers in the UK. Carers are individuals that spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone with an illness or disability who struggles to or is unable to adequately care for themselves. However, many of these carers may not be aware that they could be eligible to claim benefits from the government of up to £278 a month, and with upwards of 6,000 people becoming carers in the UK every day, it is important that they know how they can take advantage of this opportunity.

How does Carers Allowance work?

Carers allowance can be claimed by individuals who are the only person caring for someone with an illness or disability for at least 35 hours a week, as long as the person being cared for is already claiming certain benefits.

The carer does not have to be related to or live with the person they are caring for. Claimants will receive an allowance of £69.70 per week which they can receive weekly or monthly and carers who live in Scotland can even claim Carers Allowance Supplement, which consists of 2 extra payments a year totalling around £491.40.


In order to claim carers allowance, the carer must be at least 16 years of age and the person being cared for must already be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment – daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Child Disability Payment – the middle or highest care rate
  • Adult Disability Payment – daily living component

More information about eligibility can be found on the site about Carer Allowance eligibility.

How does this affect other benefits?

Carer’s Allowance does not count towards the benefit cap, which determines the maximum number of benefits an individual can claim, meaning this will have little effect on the benefits already being claimed by the carer.

Also, claimants will receive National Insurance Credits for every week they are claiming the allowance. These credits are used to fill gaps in the National Insurance record, to help make sure that they are able to qualify for certain benefits.

Plenty of benefits will still be available whilst claiming carers allowance:

  • support from your local council
  • a Council Tax Reduction
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • grants and bursaries to help pay for courses and training
  • Income Support (if you get the severe disability premium and you’re on a low income)
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance (if you get the severe disability premium and you cannot work)

To check how claiming this allowance will affect benefits currently being claimed, council tax rates, working tax credit, child tax credit, pension credit or state pension, carers should get in contact with the office that deals with these payments.

How to apply for Carers Allowance

The following details are needed to make an application:

  • National Insurance number
  • bank or building society details (unless you get your State Pension)
  • employment details and latest payslip if you’re working
  • P45 if you’ve recently finished work
  • course details if you’re studying
  • details of any expenses

You also need details of the person you care for. You need their:

  • Date of birth and address
  • National Insurance number if they’re 16 or over
  • Disability Living Allowance reference if they’re under 16

Anyone interested in applying for this benefit can make a claim on the Carers Allowance Application site