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What is the Carer Premium?


If you’re entitled to Carer’s Allowance, you may be able to receive a Carer Premium (called a Carer Addition for people of State Pension age) or Carer Element if you receive Universal Credit. 

This is extra money paid within any means-tested benefits you may claim. Means-tested benefits are those that take account of any income or savings you have. 

Can I claim a Carer Premium? 

If you claim one of the following benefits, you may be able to get a Carer Premium/Addition or Carer Element added to it: 

  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance  
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance 
  • Income Support 
  • Council Tax Support/Reduction 
  • Housing Benefit 
  • Guarantee Pension Credit 
  • Universal Credit 


Do I have to have Carer's Allowance? 


You also need to be entitled to Carer’s Allowance. You don’t actually need to be receiving it, but you must meet the eligibility criteria.

Sometimes people can’t be paid Carer’s Allowance because of other benefits, earnings or a State Pension they’re receiving, but they may still have what is called an ‘underlying entitlement’ to it. If so, you could get the extra carer amount.  

 

Frequently asked questions


The Carer Premium and Carer Addition are worth £38.85 a week. The Carer Element (paid with Universal Credit) is worth £168.81 a month
 (roughly £38 a week). 


In practice, if you’re claiming Carer’s Allowance and are already getting a means-tested benefit, your means-tested benefit will decrease slightly. However the addition of the Carer Premium (or addition or element) will mean that overall you should be better off (taking into account the Carer’s Allowance you are paid in addition to your means-tested benefit).
 


When you are awarded Carer’s Allowance (or awarded the 'underlying entitlement' to it) the main means-tested benefits you are receiving should be automatically adjusted.
 

However, you should always check this with the Carer’s Allowance Unit or the Disability and Carers Service (in Northern Ireland) directly as a claim for Carer’s Allowance is a change of circumstances that you must tell them about.  

If relevant, it might also be a good idea to tell the Housing Benefit department as they may not be aware of the award for some time and you may miss out on an additional benefit.   

If you receive Universal Credit, you need to tell them you are a carer, and add any Carer’s Allowance award to your journal or call the Universal Credit helpline if you do not have a journal. The Universal Credit team may not increase or backdate your benefit if you have not informed them that you are a carer (even if you were caring but not getting Carer’s Allowance).  


If you don’t currently claim any means-tested benefits, it’s worth getting a benefits check to see if you’re eligible. Even if you were not eligible before, being awarded Carer’s Allowance (or the “underlying entitlement” to it) can make you eligible for certain benefits for the first time. Therefore it’s worth finding out what you could claim. 


Contact the Carers UK Helpline and we will be very happy to carry out a benefits check for you. You could also take a look at the benefits calculator on this web page as a starting point.


If your circumstances change, for example you enter paid employment or move home, your eligibility for claiming certain benefits like Carer's Allowance may be affected.
 

Rather than working this out for yourself, it is important to report any changes as soon as possible. 

In England, Wales or Scotland, notify the Carer’s Allowance Unit.

In Northern Ireland, notify the Disability and Carers Service.


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