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Carers allowance - Carers UK Forum

Carers allowance

All about money
Just a reminder that the definitive answers to common questions are on the main website. Plus a downloadable fact sheet on the subject which refers to allowable deductions including private pension contributions and care costs. I will copy and paste part of it below.

FROM the MAIN website! unadulterated:-

Carers Allowance is the main benefit for carers. From April 2013 the weekly rate is £59.75.

To get Carer’s Allowance you must meet all the following conditions:

You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.
You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week.
You are aged 16 or over.
You are not in full-time education.
You earn £100 a week or less (after deductions).
You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.
Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable but, because it is a low amount, on it's own it is below the threshold for paying tax. So you will only have to pay tax if you have other sources of taxable income such as an occupational pension or earnings.

This is a summary of the rules, however please note that if you get other certain benefits this can complicate things. This is particularly the case if you get a state pension, in which case you should read our advice to pensioners.
Also worth pointing out that if you have a private or occupational pension and are under State Retirement age, this does not affect your entitlement: such 'unearned income' of any kind is not included in the earnings limit. Not a lot of people know that.
I've just searched "Pensioners" and nothing came up on the index. Search "Pensioner" and lots of things came up, including a very interesting and detailed report on the impact of caring for older people. I don't know how to contact those responsible for the website, but the addition of the plural "s" might be stopping many from finding the information they need.
it also doesn't tell you weather you can claim CA if you are getting ESA. which for me is very unhelpful. :(
Hello Amanda,

If you can't find the answer to your question on the website contact the Carers Adviceline directly - their contact details are here:


If you can't get through on the phone you can email your query and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
amanda wrote:it also doesn't tell you weather you can claim CA if you are getting ESA. which for me is very unhelpful. :(
My understanding is that you can have either ESA or Carers Allowance, but not both. One says you're unfit to do any work, the other one you have to work for 35 hours (at least) to get it.

And, as they are both NI benefits (pay towards your pension when you receive them), there's an old rule that says you can only have the one that pays the most.
Amanda, due to the DWP refusing to acknowledge the nature of my caree's disability for years, I was on JSA whilst I cared for him. Eventually he was told by the social work department that he needed extra care and support and when they discovered that he wasn't getting the benefits he should have been entitled to, they sorted out getting him onto DLA. This then meant that I was able to qualify for Carers Allowance. I was then taken off of JSA and put onto Income Support to top up my Carers Allowance so I suspect that you'll be entitled to a similar top up through ESA (as it's replaced Income Support) Getting it may be another matter however as virtually no one at the DWP knows how any of the benefits actually work or what you should be entitled to and their initial response is always, at least in my experience, to deny you any benefits. The advisors here should be able to tell you exactly what you're entitled to and under what rules, armed with that information you should face less resistance.
Carers allowance is clearly unclear for certain situations and derisory in amount for all. We need to write to leaders of the various coloured parties and tell them. After years of caring many of us will presumably be devoid of savings and therefore actually cost the state more in benefits. They are shortsighted to leave people apparently saving them billions in such hardship. Adds to one of the many stresses of caring. Don't email as my experience is that you just get an automatic reply that he has to be your MP. My MP is useless so no point.
Does anyone else find it something of an anomaly that a full time individual carer on income support receives a carer premium of about £30, yet carers allowance is about £60. The difference would make matters just about financially feasible. On the other side if you earn £100 a week, which would just cover my rent, how can you budget for everything else on £60 carers allowance. The figures dont add up!
The whole system doesn't add up Alan, that's what Iain Duncan-Smith is supposed to be fixing. If he can just bump us all off benefits or this mortal coil, leaving ATOS to take the blame and his hands clean, he'll be able to declare it "fixed"
The homeless, destitute and dead don't get an opinion.