What is Carers Allowance?
Carer’s Allowance is currently a benefit payment of £58.45 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.
Basic eligibility criteria states that you don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for—but you do need to be aged 16 or over and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.
Other features of Carers Allowance and its application process, which understandably cause confusion include:
- The fact that Carers Allowance is taxable and can also affect other benefits you receive.
- Carers Allowance payments can be made either weekly in advance, or every 4 or 13 weeks.
- The “overlapping benefit rule”, which states that you can’t receive 2 income-replacement benefits (e.g. Carer’s Allowance and the State Pension) at the same time.
- The numerous eligibility conditions (and exceptions) for receiving Carers Allowance.
- The claiming process and how to appeal a decision
- Making carers aware of their options
Our latest expert, Oliver, regularly attends carers meetings around the UK, raising awareness of Carer's Allowance and sign posting to other benefits—so he is perfectly placed to answer questions on any of the above points.
Oliver believes there are still many carers not aware of the support available to them. He says: “I believe there are many carers not claiming Carer's Allowance because they do not recognise themselves as carers, do not know there is a benefit to support them or think they are too old to claim.”
"I hope the online chat via Carers Trust will raise awareness of Carer's Allowance and help reach carers who are unable to attend meetings.”
Join the conversation on Carers Allowance with Oliver, live in the chat room on Thursday between 7-8pm.
You can also leave your questions and feedback in advance of, and after the live webchat on our forum.