Carers Allowance - What You Should Know
You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring to claim Carer’s Allowance.

The person you care for must claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component at any rate, Attendance Allowance (AA) or Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or higher rate.

You also need to:

  • be 16 or over, and
  • not be in full time education (this is usually over 21 hours study a week but for more information see full time students and Carer’s Allowance on NHS Choices)
  • earn less than £110 per week (remember only your income is counted, your partner’s income and savings are ignored).

There are also rules about living in the UK so check all the rules about Eligibility for Carer’s Allowance on Gov.uk.

You can still claim:

  • if you don’t live with the person you care for
  • if you aren’t related to the person you care for
  • if you have savings or own your own home

Connecting Carers can help you to work out if you qualify for Carer’s Allowance and if there are any other benefits you could claim.

Claim Carer’s Allowance before you need it to start

You can apply for Carer’s Allowance before you need it to start. For example, you can apply if you are about to give up work to care full time (and you had been earning over the threshold amount whilst working). You don’t need to wait until you have actually stopped working to claim.

35 hours of caring each week

35 hours of caring each week might sound like a lot, but you may do this much without realising. There is no clear definition of caring but you should count up the hours you spend with the person you care for:

  • helping them get dressed, wash, go to the toilet, and move about at home,
  • checking they are safe, giving emotional support, and advocating on their behalf,
  • doing cooking, cleaning and other household tasks because they can’t manage them or need help to do them.

You don’t have to spend time caring everyday as the Department for Work and Pensions look at the hours you do over a week (Sunday to Saturday). This means that you may still qualify if you only care for someone at weekends or in the evenings.

You do need to be spending time caring every week, you can’t average it out over a number of weeks.

You won’t need to have a home visit.

You can only claim Carer’s Allowance for one person, even if you care for more than one person.

If you care for someone, and they care for you or someone else too, then you can both claim Carer’s Allowance as long as you meet all the other conditions.