Carer’s Allowance (CA)
What is Carer’s Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance (CA) is a payment for people who provide regular care and support to a person who has a disability such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and who is in receipt of specific benefits.
You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person being cared for.
If you are over 16 and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone, you may be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. The type of care should include things like helping with washing and cooking, household tasks, and taking the person to medical appointments.
The person you care for must receive a disability related benefit, such as an Attendance Allowance or the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at either rate.
You cannot apply for Carer’s Allowance if you are in full time education or are studying for 21 hours a week or more.
You cannot earn more than £128 per week after tax, National Insurance, and expenses.
You cannot receive Carer’s Allowance if you receive your State Pension. You cannot get the full amount of both at the same time, this is because they are both classed as ‘overlapping benefits’. However, if your pension is less than the current rate of Carer’s Allowance, you can receive a payment to make up the difference.
If your State Pension is more than the Carers Allowance, it may still be worthwhile claiming so you can receive what is known as an ‘underlying entitlement’.
Carer’s Allowance and other benefits
If you claim Carer’s Allowance, the person you care for will stop receiving a ‘severe disability premium’ paid with their other benefits including Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit, and Housing Benefit.
How to apply
For England, Wales and Scotland, you can apply for Carer’s Allowance online via the Government website www.carersallowance.service.gov.uk/ui-citizen-claim/allowance-benefits or you can download a claim form and send via post www.gov.uk/government/publications/carers-allowance-claim-form
For Northern Ireland you can apply via the NiDirect website www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/apply-carers-allowance-online or you can download a form and send via post www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/carers-allowance#toc-4
For additional information on Carer’s Allowance, Carers UK have a downloadable factsheet. This includes information for those living in Scotland. If you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance and you live in Scotland, you may be entitled to the Carer’s Allowance Supplement. This was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2018 to raise the amount paid to the level of Jobseekers Allowance.