The main state benefit that some carers can claim is Carer's Allowance.
This allowance is for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone with a disability who receives a Disability Living Allowance (Middle or Higher Rate for Personal Care), Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance (paid as an addition to a War Disablement Pension or industrial disablement benefit).
Carers must not be in full time education or earning above a certain amount. Dependents additions may be payable. It is taxable.
Who qualifies for a Carer's Allowance?
- You must be 16 years old or over
- You must look after someone for at least 35 hours a week
- The person you look after must receive a qualifying disability benefit
- If you work you must not earn more than £102 a week net pay, although this figure is revised every April, so be sure to check (see relevant links below)
- You must be living in the UK when you claim Carer's Allowance
- You must not be a full-time student. This is defined as supervised studying for 21 or more hours per week
How much is Carer's Allowance?
Carer's Allowance is paid at a standard rate, currently set at
£62.10 a week.
If you made your claim before 6 April 2010, you may also be able to get extra benefit for your partner or someone who looks after your children. This includes partners who are living together as well as those who are married or in a civil partnership. It includes lesbian, gay or heterosexual partners.
You can only get the extra benefit if the person you are claiming for has earnings below a certain amount and does not get certain benefits in their own right which are worth more than the extra Carer's Allowance.
If you made your claim after 6 April 2010, you can no longer get the extra benefit.
Other Important Information
Make Sure: to check with the person you are caring for before you make a claim for Carer's Allowance since they may lose some of the benefit they receive, such as a severe disability addition, as a result of the Carer's Allowance claim. This is only if the disabled person lives on their own and does not include underlying entitlement awards of Carer's Allowance.
Underlying Entitlement You cannot receive Carer's Allowance and a State Retirement Pension. If however you are a carer who would qualify for Carers Allowance, you may be entitled to what is known as Underlying Entitlement, which may entitle you to benefits that your retirement pension does.
For more information about the Carer's Allowance visit:
You can also claim online via the GOV UK site.
Where can I find Advice & Support?
Our Carers Hub is designed to provide you with lots of information and advice to support you in your role as a Carer.
You are welcome to come along to our drop in sessions at our Carers Hubs where our team of Advisors will be happy to discuss your personal circumstances and support options. The locations of our Carers Hubs, along with their opening times are available on the Carers Hub website.
There are a number of national and charitable organisations that provide support to Carers, which could provide support on issues that matter to you and your family and give support to try to make your role as a Carer easier.
Carers UK – advice for Carers
The Carers Trust – information for Carers and details for carers organisations in other areas
Carewell – advice from experts and from Carers
Citizens Advice Bureau UK (CAB) – advice and guidance
Counselling Directory – Find a counsellor or psychotherapist dealing with Carer Support
Dementia Challengers – A website with links to resources regarding Dementia
Different Strokes – information for younger (under 60) survivors of Strokes
Friendship Phone Service for older people launched
NHS 111 – Emergency and Urgent Care Services
Pannone – Legal Rights
NHS Carers Direct – information, advice and support for Carers
There are a number of Caring Associations in your local area which can offer you lots of information and advice regarding your role as a Carer. Local information and support from Carer Associations in North and South Staffordshire can be found by accessing the below links:
North Staffs Carers Association – for Carers living in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle.
Carers Association Southern Staffordshire for Carers living in South Staffordshire, East Staffordshire, Stafford, Lichfield, Tamworth, and Cannock.