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How to Claim Carer’s Allowance?


How to Claim Carer’s Allowance


What is Carer’s Allowance and What are its Eligibility Criteria in the UK

Carer's Allowance is a financial benefit that serves as a lifeline for many individuals who dedicate their time to caring for someone with a disability or illness. This benefit is provided by the UK government and aims to offer some financial relief to carers. This article will delve into what Carer's Allowance is and discuss the eligibility criteria one must meet to claim this benefit in the UK.


What is Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is a government-provided financial benefit designed to support individuals who care for someone with a significant disability or illness. The allowance is not based on your income or savings, nor does it require you to have paid National Insurance contributions. It is a recognition of the essential role that carers play in the lives of those who need assistance with daily living.


Financial Aspects

As of the financial year 2023-2024, Carer's Allowance is worth £76.75 per week. This amount is usually paid every four weeks, directly into the bank account of the carer. The allowance is intended to provide some financial relief to carers, acknowledging the time and effort they invest in caregiving.


Impact on Other Benefits

It's important to note that receiving Carer's Allowance may affect other benefits you or the person you're caring for may be receiving. However, even if you're not paid the Carer's Allowance due to other income, a successful claim can still give you an 'underlying entitlement,' which could mean you get extra money with any means-tested benefits you claim, such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.


Eligibility Criteria for Carer’s Allowance

Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial before applying for Carer’s Allowance. The UK government has set specific conditions that must be met to qualify for this benefit. Below are the key eligibility criteria:


Age and Education

You must be 16 years of age or older to apply for Carer’s Allowance. Additionally, you should not be in full-time education, defined as 21 hours or more of supervised study per week.


Care Requirements

You must be providing care for at least 35 hours a week. The care can be for a relative, friend, or even a neighbour. The person you are caring for must have substantial caring needs and should be receiving a qualifying disability benefit.


Qualifying Disability Benefits


The person you care for must be receiving one of the following disability benefits:


1. Higher or middle-rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

2. Any rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

3. Any rate of Attendance Allowance

4. Other relevant benefits


Income Limitations

Your earnings, after specific deductions like tax, National Insurance, and certain expenses, must not exceed £139 per week. The allowance is not based on your savings or National Insurance record, so these factors won't affect your claim.


Residency and Immigration Status

You must meet UK residence and presence conditions to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. This means you must be living in the UK when you claim or meet specific exceptions. Additionally, you must not be subject to immigration control.


How to Calculate Your Earnings for Carer's Allowance

Your earnings for Carer's Allowance are determined by your income from both employment and self-employment, after accounting for tax, National Insurance, and allowable expenses.


Allowable Expenses


These expenses can include:


1. Half of your pension contributions

2. Necessary job-related equipment, such as specialized clothing

3. Unreimbursed travel expenses between different work locations, like fuel or train tickets

4. Business-related costs if you're self-employed, like a work-only computer


Care Costs as Expenses

If you hire a carer for the disabled individual or your children while you work, you can count care costs up to 50% of your earnings as an expense. However, the carer cannot be a close family member like a spouse, partner, parent, child, or sibling.


Example

If you earn £100 a week after all deductions and spend £60 a week on caregiving while you work, you can consider £50 of this as an allowable expense.


Exclusions from Earnings


Certain payments are not considered earnings, such as:


1. Income from occupational or private pensions

2. Contributions to your living or housing costs from cohabitants (who are not tenants or boarders)

3. The first £20 a week and half of any additional income from someone boarding in your home

4. Loans or advance payments from your employer


Impact on State Pension and Pension Credit

You can't receive the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension simultaneously. If your pension is £76.75 a week or more, you won't qualify for Carer’s Allowance. If it's less, the Carer’s Allowance will make up the difference. Additionally, if you're receiving Pension Credit and your State Pension exceeds £76.75 a week, you won't get Carer’s Allowance, but your Pension Credit amount will increase.



Steps to Claim Carer’s Allowance


Step 1: Gather Necessary Information

Before applying, make sure you have all the required information about the person you are caring for, including their National Insurance number and details about the disability benefits they are receiving.


Step 2: Choose the Application Method

You can apply for Carer’s Allowance either online via the GOV.UK website or by post. If you prefer to apply by post, you can request a DS700 or DS700(SP) form if you’re receiving a state pension.


Step 3: Complete the Application

Fill in all the necessary details in the application form. If applying online, follow the instructions on the GOV.UK website. For postal applications, complete the DS700 or DS700(SP) form and mail it as instructed.


Step 4: Submit and Wait for Decision

After submitting your application, you will receive a decision in writing, informing you whether you have been awarded Carer’s Allowance and from what date.


Step 5: Regular Updates

It’s crucial to keep your information updated. If your circumstances change, such as the number of hours you care for someone or your income, you must inform the relevant authorities.


Financial Implications

For the financial year 2023-2024, Carer's Allowance is worth £76.75 per week and is usually paid every four weeks. If you are under the State Pension age, you'll also receive National Insurance credits each week towards your pension.


Additional Support and Information

Local carer organizations and advice agencies can offer support and guidance. Citizens Advice and Age UK also provide comprehensive information and can help you understand how claiming Carer’s Allowance might affect other benefits you or the person you care for may be receiving.


When to Apply for Carer's Allowance in the UK


Immediate Claims

You should apply for Carer's Allowance immediately if the person you're caring for is already receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance at either the middle or highest care component rate

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the standard maximum rate with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or at the basic full-day rate with a War Disablement Pension.

As soon as the person you're caring for is awarded any of these benefits, you're eligible to claim Carer's Allowance.


Delayed Claims

If the person you're caring for has either not yet applied for one of the above benefits or is awaiting a decision, you should wait to claim Carer's Allowance. However, it's crucial for them to apply for Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, or Constant Attendance Allowance as soon as possible.


Time-Sensitive Nature

If the person you're caring for already receives one of these benefits, you must claim Carer's Allowance without delay. Failing to claim within three months of the decision to award the disability benefit could result in lost benefits.


Additional Benefits

Claiming Carer's Allowance may also make you eligible for other financial support, such as:

  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance

  • Income Support

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

  • Pension Credit

  • Housing Benefit

  • Council Tax Benefit

You can apply for these additional benefits simultaneously with your Carer's Allowance claim. For more details, consult the relevant authorities or guidelines.


How to Reach Out for Carer's Allowance Information


Contact Details

  • Phone: You can call us at 0845 608 4321.

  • Textphone or Text Relay: For those with speech or hearing impairments, reach us via textphone at 0845 604 5312 or use Text Relay at 18001 0845 608 4321.

  • Email: Drop us an email at cau.customer-services@dwp.gsi.gov.uk.

  • Website: For more information, visit www.direct.gov.uk/carers.

  • Postal Address: Write to us at Carer’s Allowance Unit, Palatine House, Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 1HB.


Office Hours

Our lines are open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Thursday, and 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Friday.


Special Requirements

If you need braille, CD, or large print, or if English isn't your first language and you require an interpreter, please let us know.


What to Expect After Submitting Your Claim


Communication

We'll contact you by phone if we need more details. Otherwise, we'll send you a letter to inform you about your eligibility for Carer's Allowance. Payments are usually made on Mondays.


Processing Time

We aim to process your claim within three weeks. We generally don't confirm receipt of your claim, so please wait at least three weeks before inquiring about its status.


Additional Support

While receiving Carer's Allowance, you have the option to schedule a work-focused interview with a personal adviser at Jobcentre Plus. This is optional but can provide guidance on part-time employment or training opportunities. Contact Jobcentre Plus to arrange an interview or discuss if it's right for you.


Feedback and Complaints

If you have any comments or complaints about our service, feel free to contact us via phone, textphone, email, or post.



What are the Effects of Carer's Allowance on Other Benefits?

Carer's Allowance is a financial benefit provided by the UK government to individuals who care for someone with a disability or illness. While this allowance offers financial relief to carers, it's crucial to understand its impact on other benefits. This article explores how Carer's Allowance affects both the carer's and the care recipient's other benefits.


Effect on the Benefits of the Person You Care For

When you start receiving Carer's Allowance, the person you care for may lose certain benefits. Specifically, they will usually stop receiving:


· A severe disability premium paid with their benefits

· An extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit


Additionally, their reduced Council Tax might also be affected. To confirm these changes, it's advisable to contact the relevant authorities, such as Jobcentre Plus, their local council, the Pension Service Helpline, or Universal Credit.


Effect on Your Benefits as a Carer

Claiming Carer's Allowance can lead to changes in your other benefit payments. However, your total benefit payments will generally either increase or remain the same. Importantly, you will not be affected by the benefit cap.


Universal Credit

If you're receiving Universal Credit, your payment will be reduced by an amount equal to your Carer's Allowance. However, you may receive an extra amount of Universal Credit for caring for someone who gets a disability-related benefit, regardless of whether you receive Carer's Allowance.


National Insurance Credits

The type of benefits you receive will determine the National Insurance credits you're eligible for:


· With Carer’s Allowance, you get Class 1 National Insurance credits, which help you qualify for other benefits and the State Pension.

· With Universal Credit, you get Class 3 National Insurance credits, which only count towards your State Pension.


Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit

If you're receiving either of these credits, you must inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about your Carer’s Allowance claim.


Pension Credit and State Pension

If you're of State Pension age and receive Pension Credit, your payments will increase if you're eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Also, delaying your State Pension claim could increase the State Pension payments you receive later, but you can't build up extra State Pension during any period you receive Carer’s Allowance.


Thus, receiving certain benefits may affect your ability to claim Carer's Allowance. These benefits include:

  • State Pension

  • Incapacity Benefit

  • Severe Disablement Allowance

  • Training Allowances

  • Unemployability Supplement, which is associated with Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits or War Pension

  • Widow's Pension or Bereavement Allowance

  • Widowed Mother's Allowance or Widowed Parent's Allowance

  • War Widow's or Widower's Pension

  • Maternity Allowance

  • Industrial Death Benefit

  • Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance

  • Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance


While Carer's Allowance provides financial support to carers, it has implications for other benefits for both the carer and the person being cared for. Understanding these effects is crucial for making informed decisions about claiming this allowance.


Can I Be a Paid Carer's Allowance for a Family Member


Can I Be a Paid Carer's Allowance for a Family Member?

The role of a carer is often filled by family members who naturally want to help their loved ones in times of need. However, caregiving can be both time-consuming and emotionally draining, leading many to wonder if they can be compensated for this role. The answer varies depending on several factors, including the type of care provided, the care recipient's eligibility for certain benefits, and the country's specific regulations.


Direct Payments and Personal Budgets

In some jurisdictions, like the UK, the person requiring care may be eligible for Direct Payments or a Personal Budget from the local council. These funds can be used to employ a family member as a paid carer. However, the family member usually cannot be someone the care recipient lives with, unless under special circumstances.


Carer's Allowance

In the UK, family members can also claim Carer's Allowance if they provide at least 35 hours of care per week to someone who receives a qualifying disability benefit. While this is not a salary, it is a financial benefit that can help offset some of the costs associated with caregiving.


Contractual Agreements

Some families opt for a more formal arrangement, drafting a caregiving contract that outlines the responsibilities and compensation for the family member providing care. This can be a paid position funded by the care recipient's savings or other family contributions.


Medicaid and Similar Programs

In the United States, Medicaid has programs that may compensate family members for providing care. The specifics vary by state and program but generally include training requirements and other eligibility criteria.


Tax Implications

Being a paid carer, even for a family member, has tax implications. In most cases, you'll need to report this income and may be required to pay taxes on it. It's advisable to consult a tax professional to understand these implications fully.


Ethical and Emotional Considerations

While it may be financially beneficial, being a paid carer for a family member can bring up ethical and emotional issues. It's essential to have open communication with all involved parties to ensure that the arrangement is agreeable to everyone.


Yes, it is possible to be a paid carer for a family member, depending on various factors like location, eligibility for certain benefits, and personal family agreements. However, it's crucial to consider the financial, ethical, and emotional aspects before entering into such an arrangement.


Christmas Bonus and National Insurance Contributions with Carer's Allowance


Christmas Bonus

Each year, just before Christmas, you'll receive a tax-free Christmas Bonus along with your Carer's Allowance. However, you'll only receive this bonus with your Carer's Allowance if you're not already getting a Christmas Bonus through another benefit.


National Insurance Contributions

For every week you receive Carer's Allowance, a Class 1 National Insurance (NI) contribution credit will be added to your NI record. You'll also typically receive a Class 1 NI contribution credit for weeks when you're entitled to Carer's Allowance but aren't paid due to receiving Widow's Benefits or Bereavement Benefits at the same or a higher rate.


These Class 1 NI contribution credits can help you qualify for other benefits or entitlements at the basic rate in the future.


Exceptions

You won't receive a Class 1 NI contribution credit with your Carer's Allowance if you're already receiving these credits through another benefit. For instance, you might be getting contribution credits with your Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance.


Understanding Carer's Credit and Its Benefits


Carer's Credit Overview

Starting from April 6, 2010, working-age carers can automatically secure their future eligibility for basic State Pension and Bereavement Benefits through National Insurance credits, even when Carer's Allowance isn't being paid for any reason. These credits can also contribute to an additional pension, often referred to as the State Second Pension. Any extra pension you accumulate will be paid out along with your basic State Pension when you claim it.


Coverage Periods


Carer's Credit will cover up to 12 weeks during the following situations:


· Before your Carer's Allowance eligibility starts

· During any interruptions in caregiving

· At the conclusion of your Carer's Allowance period


Special Cases for Married Women

If you're a married woman making reduced-rate National Insurance contributions, you won't receive Class 1 NI contribution credits for each week you're paid Carer's Allowance. However, starting from April 6, 2010, you will be eligible for Carer's Credit for each week you're entitled to Carer's Allowance, in addition to the 12-week periods mentioned above.


Eligibility for Non-Recipients

If you're not eligible for Carer's Allowance, or your entitlement has ended, but you're still providing care for one or more individuals for a total of at least 20 hours per week, you may qualify for Carer's Credit.



How You Are Paid for Carer's Allowance in the UK

Carer's Allowance is a financial benefit offered by the UK government to individuals who provide care for someone with a disability or illness for at least 35 hours a week. Understanding how this allowance is paid can help you manage your finances better and ensure you're receiving the support you're entitled to.


Payment Frequency and Method

In the UK, you have the option to choose how frequently you'd like to receive Carer's Allowance payments. You can opt for weekly payments in advance or receive the allowance every four weeks. The payments are directly deposited into an account of your choice, such as a bank account. This makes it convenient and ensures that you receive the funds in a timely manner.


No Extra Pay for Multiple Care Recipients

It's important to note that the Carer's Allowance is not increased if you care for more than one person. The standard rate is £76.75 per week, regardless of the number of individuals you are caring for. Additionally, if another person is also caring for the same individual you are, only one of you can claim Carer's Allowance.


Tax Implications

Carer’s Allowance is subject to tax if your total income, including the allowance, exceeds the Personal Allowance threshold. This means you may need to consider the tax implications when calculating your annual income.


Additional Financial Support

Receiving Carer's Allowance also entitles you to National Insurance credits each week, which can be beneficial for your State Pension in the long run. You may also be eligible for other forms of financial support, such as Universal Credit if you're on a low income, Pension Credit if you're over working age, and grants and bursaries for courses and training.


Special Provisions for Scotland

If you reside in Scotland and are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, you may also receive the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. This is an additional financial benefit aimed at providing extra support to carers.


Understanding how you are paid for Carer's Allowance in the UK can help you make informed financial decisions. You have the flexibility to choose the payment frequency and method that suits you best. While the allowance is a fixed rate per week, it can have tax implications if your total income exceeds the Personal Allowance. Additional financial support options and National Insurance credits are also available, making the Carer's Allowance a valuable financial resource for those providing essential care.


Claiming Carer’s Allowance in the UK involves a straightforward process, but it’s essential to be well-informed and prepared. Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and have all the necessary information before you apply. With the right approach, you can successfully claim this benefit and get the financial support you need for your caregiving responsibilities.


Carer's Allowance is a vital financial benefit aimed at supporting individuals who dedicate their time and effort to caring for someone with a disability or illness. The allowance is set at £76.75 per week for the financial year 2023-2024 and is paid every four weeks. To be eligible, you must meet specific criteria, including age, the amount of care provided, income limitations, and the disability benefits received by the person you are caring for. Understanding these criteria is crucial for a successful application and to ensure you receive the financial support you deserve for your caregiving role.


A Real-Life Example of Claiming Carer's Allowance in the UK


Meet Emily: A Full-Time Carer for Her Mother

Emily is a 35-year-old woman who has recently taken on the role of a full-time carer for her mother, Sarah, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Sarah has been awarded the Disability Living Allowance at the highest care component rate, making Emily eligible to claim Carer's Allowance.


Understanding Eligibility and Financial Implications

Before applying, Emily consults an accountant to understand the financial implications and eligibility criteria. She learns that she must be providing at least 35 hours of care per week to her mother to qualify. The accountant also informs her that the standard rate for Carer's Allowance is £76.75 per week, and it's taxable if her total income exceeds the Personal Allowance threshold.


Applying for Carer's Allowance

Emily decides to proceed with the application. She opts for the payments to be directly deposited into her bank account every four weeks. She also learns that she can claim additional benefits like Income Support and Pension Credit simultaneously, which she decides to explore later.


Receiving the Christmas Bonus

As Christmas approaches, Emily is pleasantly surprised to find a tax-free Christmas Bonus added to her Carer's Allowance. She learns that this bonus is only available if she's not receiving a Christmas Bonus from another benefit.


National Insurance Credits

Emily also discovers that for every week she receives Carer's Allowance, a Class 1 National Insurance (NI) contribution credit is added to her NI record. These credits will help her qualify for the basic State Pension and Bereavement Benefits in the future.


Interruptions and Carer's Credit

Emily has to travel for a family emergency, causing an interruption in her caregiving duties. She learns about Carer's Credit, which can cover periods of up to 12 weeks during any breaks in care. This ensures her NI record remains protected, safeguarding her future entitlement to basic State Pension and Bereavement Benefits.


Financial Planning and Additional Support

Emily also schedules a work-focused interview with a personal adviser at Jobcentre Plus. While the interview is optional, the adviser provides valuable insights into part-time employment and training opportunities that can complement her caregiving responsibilities.


Special Cases: Reduced-Rate NI Contributions

Emily's friend Laura, who is also a carer but pays reduced-rate NI contributions as a married woman, learns that she won't receive Class 1 NI contribution credits for each week she's paid Carer's Allowance. However, she will be eligible for Carer's Credit, protecting her future entitlements.


Processing Time and Communication

Three weeks after submitting her application, Emily receives a letter confirming her eligibility for Carer's Allowance. She is informed that the payments will usually be made on Mondays and that she should wait at least three weeks before inquiring about her claim's status.


Emily's journey through claiming Carer's Allowance highlights the importance of understanding eligibility criteria, financial implications, and additional benefits. By consulting professionals and keeping herself informed, Emily successfully navigates the complexities of the system, ensuring financial support while she provides essential care to her mother.



How Professional Help from an Accountant is Beneficial for You to Claim Carer's Allowance in the UK


How Professional Help from an Accountant is Beneficial for You to Claim Carer's Allowance

Claiming Carer's Allowance in the UK involves a series of steps that require careful attention to detail, especially when it comes to financial matters. While the process may seem straightforward, there are nuances that can affect your eligibility and the amount you receive. This is where professional help, particularly from an accountant, can be invaluable. This article explores the various ways an accountant can assist you in successfully claiming Carer's Allowance.


Understanding Eligibility Criteria

One of the first steps in claiming Carer's Allowance is understanding the eligibility criteria, which includes financial thresholds. An accountant can help you navigate these requirements, ensuring that your income and expenses are accurately calculated. This is crucial because even a small miscalculation can lead to delays or denials.


Tax Implications

Carer's Allowance is taxable if your total income exceeds the Personal Allowance. An accountant can help you understand how this additional income will affect your tax liability. They can also guide you on how to declare this income correctly to avoid any future complications with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).


Maximizing Allowable Expenses

When calculating your earnings for Carer's Allowance eligibility, certain expenses can be deducted. These include 50% of your pension contributions, necessary job-related equipment, and specific travel costs. An accountant can help you identify all allowable expenses, ensuring that you maximize your deductions and improve your chances of meeting the income threshold for eligibility.


Financial Planning

Receiving Carer's Allowance may affect other benefits you or the person you're caring for may be receiving. An accountant can provide a holistic view of your financial situation, advising you on how to optimize your income and benefits. This can include strategies for saving, investing, and even deferring other benefits or pensions to maximize your overall financial health.


Navigating Complex Cases

If you're self-employed or have multiple income streams, calculating your earnings for Carer's Allowance can become complex. An accountant can help you navigate these complexities, ensuring that all income and allowable expenses are accurately accounted for. This is particularly beneficial if you have fluctuating income, as an accountant can help you average out your earnings to meet eligibility criteria.


Record-Keeping and Documentation

Proper record-keeping is essential when claiming any benefit, including Carer's Allowance. An accountant can help you set up a robust record-keeping system, ensuring that all necessary documents are well-organized and readily available. This can be invaluable if you're required to provide evidence of your income and expenses during the application process or at a later date.


Time-Saving and Peace of Mind

The process of claiming Carer's Allowance can be time-consuming, especially if you're already burdened with caregiving responsibilities. Hiring an accountant can save you valuable time and offer peace of mind, knowing that a professional is handling the financial aspects of your claim. This allows you to focus more on your caregiving duties, which is, after all, the primary reason for claiming the allowance.


While it's possible to claim Carer's Allowance on your own, the financial intricacies involved make a strong case for seeking professional help. An accountant can provide expert guidance on eligibility criteria, tax implications, allowable expenses, and financial planning. Their assistance can be particularly beneficial in complex cases, such as those involving self-employment or multiple income streams. With proper record-keeping and strategic financial planning, an accountant can not only enhance your chances of successfully claiming Carer's Allowance but also help you optimize your overall financial situation.



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