What is Carer’s Allowance? – podcast transcript

Hi my name is Derek and I’m a parent adviser at Contact. I’m going to talk about Carer’s Allowance which is the main benefit for full time carers.

Many families are not claiming Carer’s Allowance when they could be, often because they are confused about who qualifies.

For instance, some families wrongly believe that you can’t claim Carer’s Allowance if the disabled person you are looking after is your own child. In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you are the child’s parent or someone else such like another relative. You can claim no matter your relationship to the child so long as you are looking after them for at least 35 hours a week and they are on certain disability benefits.

However, if you share the care of a child with someone else and you each provide 35 hours a week care to the same disabled child only one of you can be paid Carer’s Allowance.

You can only claim Carer’s Allowance if the person you are looking after gets a qualifying disability benefit. For a child this normally means that they must either be on the care component of Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest rate. Or if they are aged 16 or over that they get the daily living component of Personal independence payment at any rate. You are also eligible if your child lives in Scotland and gets the Child Disability Payment at the middle or highest rate for personal care or the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment.

A lot of parents aren’t claiming Carer’s Allowance because they think they have too much savings or that their partner’s earnings are too high. Now it is true that you can’t get Carer’s Allowance if your earnings are above an earnings limit. This figure is £139 per week from April 2023. It’s only the claimant’s earnings that are counted. If you have a partner their earnings are ignored. And remember it’s only earnings that are counted not any savings that you have or any other types of income.

When working out your earnings, the Carers Allowance Unit deduct some expenses like certain childcare costs and half of whatever you pay into a works or personal pension. These deductions might mean that you can still get Carer’s Allowance even if your gross earnings are slightly above the earnings limit.

You won’t be able to claim Carer’s Allowance if you are treated as being in full time education and you will need to meet certain tests linked to your immigration status and length of time in the UK.

For more information about these Carer’s Allowance rules see our Carer’s Allowance webpage at contact.org.uk.
Thanks for listening.