Why you may be eligible for Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is underclaimed. We outline what it is and what other support may be available to you if you are a carer.

Older woman caring for her husband who is in a wheelchair


There has been a lot in the news about problems with Carer’s Allowance and people earning over the earnings threshold and having to pay back the money. Campaigners say there needs to be greater understanding of carers’ circumstances and an end of the cliff-edge for triggering people having to pay back the full amount if they go over their earnings limit. Meanwhile, recent analysis by Policy in Practice estimates 529,000 carers who were eligible to claim the £81.90 a week benefit did not do so last year, collectively losing out on more than £2bn. We outline below how to claim the benefit and what other rights and resources may be open to you if you are a carer.

Carer’s Allowance

If you are caring for someone with a disability for at least 35 hours a week [you don’t have to be related or live with them], you can get financial support in the form of the Carer’s Allowance if the person you are caring for is in receipt of certain benefits, such as Disability Living Allowance, which may need to be paid at a certain rate.

  • The Allowance is currently £81.90 a week
  • You must not earn more than £151 a week after tax
  • Receipt of Carer’s Allowance will count towards entitlement for means-tested benefits
  • You will also get a Carer’s Premium/ Additional amount included in your means-tested benefits [through Universal Credit]
  • You will not be eligible if you are in full-time education

Carer’s Allowance will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

For more information, click here.

Carer’s Leave

Under the new Carer’s Leave Act, carers have a new day one right to one week of unpaid leave each year to carry out caring responsibilities. The right applies to employees who need to take time off to care for a dependant. A dependant includes:

  • A spouse, partner or civil partner
  • A child
  • A parent
  • A person who lives in the same household as the employee (otherwise than by reason of being their employee, tenant, lodger, or boarder)
  • A person who reasonably relies on the employee for care

In order to be eligible for carer’s leave, which could be taken as a single block or as days or half days, the person being cared for must have a long-term care need. They need to give notice of twice the length of time to be taken off.

An employee can take carer’s leave for any of the following forms of caring:

  • Providing personal support
  • Providing practical support
  • Helping with official or financial matters
  • Providing personal and/medical care
  • Making arrangements

Carers who take the time off will be protected from dismissal or detrimental effect in relation to their caring responsibilities. Under the Equality Act, carers have the right not to be discriminated against as a result of their caring role and “association” with a disabled person.

Other legal rights include the right to take unpaid time off during emergencies without affecting your employment.

Taking a break

Caring for someone can be equal to a full-time job so taking even just a short break is essential for your own health, wellbeing and resilience.

Some of the options available include:

  • Getting advice / help from your local council who will have a social services department that may be able to arrange services to support you as a carer
  • Arranging care yourself either through employing a paid care worker to come in to your home or by paying for short-term residential care outside of the home
  • Support from friends and family who may be able to take over your caring duties for a short amount of time

More information on respite care can be found on carersuk.org/factsheets

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises