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Can I continue to receive Carer's Allowance and have a break?


It may be helpful to understand what rules apply if you are claiming Carer’s Allowance but need to take a break from caring. We have outlined some different scenarios below to help.

Note: If your Carer’s Allowance stops due to a break in care, there might be ways you can protect your National Insurance contribution record during the break – see here for further information.


You can continue to receive Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks if you go into hospital. You must have been providing 35 hours or more of care a week for at least 14 of the past 26 weeks. The person you care for must have been receiving a qualifying benefit for that period.

Note that Carer’s Allowance will stop if your total breaks add up to more than 12 weeks in the past 26 weeks.


You can continue to be paid Carer's Allowance for a temporary period whilst you are abroad if you meet all of the following conditions:

• you go abroad with the person you look after
• they continue to receive a qualifying disability benefit (likely to be a maximum of 26 weeks)
• the purpose of your trip is to look after them.

In any other circumstances, you can continue to be paid Carer's Allowance for up to four weeks as long as you have not had more than four weeks’ break from caring in the last 26 weeks.

You may have had up to a further eight weeks’ break from caring in the last 26 weeks if the reason for the break was because you or the person you care for were in hospital.


If the person you look after goes into hospital and you are no longer providing care for at least 35 hours a week
, you can continue to get Carer's Allowance for up to 12 weeks or until their disability benefit stops.

• If you are looking after a child who was under 18 when they went into hospital, their disability benefit can continue to be paid for the whole time they are there.

• If you look after an adult aged 18+ their disability benefit will stop after 28 days (and may stop sooner if they have been in hospital or residential care in the 28 days before this current stay).

Note that Carer’s Allowance will stop if your total breaks add up to more than 12 weeks in the past 26 weeks.

If the person you look after goes into hospital and you continue to provide care for at least 35 hours a week, you can continue to get Carer's Allowance until their disability benefit stops. This means that if the person you look after is a child who is under 18 when they go into hospital, and you continue to provide care for at least 35 hours a week, you can continue to get Carer's Allowance for the whole time they are there.

If your Carer’s Allowance stops due to the person you look after being in hospital, you can continue to get the carer premium or addition paid within your means-tested benefits for eight weeks after your Carer’s Allowance stops. If you were receiving Income Support as a carer, this can continue for up to eight weeks after your Carer’s Allowance stops (and should increase to the amount you were receiving from both Carer’s Allowance and Income Support).

If your Carer’s Allowance stops due to the person you look after being in hospital and you are claiming Universal Credit, the carer element within your Universal Credit will also stop.


If the person you are looking after goes into residential care, you will only be able to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they continue to receive a qualifying disability benefit and you are still caring for them for at least 35 hours a week.

Your Carer’s Allowance will stop if you are no longer caring for them for at least 35 hours a week or their qualifying disability benefit stops.

The following benefits will usually stop after four weeks when someone moves into residential care (and may stop sooner if they have been in hospital or residential care in the 28 days before this current stay):

• the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
• the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Attendance Allowance

However, there are certain circumstances when these benefits can continue, such as where the person is paying their own fees. To find out more and for details of how to get further help see our talk to us page.

If your Carer’s Allowance stops due to the person you care for moving into residential care, you can continue to get the carer premium or addition paid with your means-tested benefits for eight weeks after your Carer’s Allowance stops.

If you are receiving Income Support as a carer, this can continue for eight weeks after your Carer’s Allowance stops (and should increase to the amount you were receiving from both Carer’s Allowance and Income Support).

If your Carer’s Allowance stops due to the person you look after being in residential care and you are claiming Universal Credit, the carer element within your Universal Credit will also stop.


You can usually continue to get Carer’s Allowance for up to eight weeks after the person you look after dies, as long as you continue to meet the age, study, earnings and residence criteria.

If you are receiving means-tested benefits, you can usually continue to get the carer premium or addition within your means-tested benefits for up to eight weeks after the person you look after dies. If you are receiving Income Support as a carer, this can also continue for up to eight weeks after the person you look after dies.

If you are receiving Universal Credit, the carer element usually continues for the rest of the assessment period in which the death occurred, and for the next two assessment periods.

I have a particular query about taking a break

Please contact our Helpline as our advisers will be able to provide more specialist guidance according to your situation. Please email advice@carersuk.org

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