Carer’s Allowance – answers to your common questions
Carer's Allowance is currently paid at £76.75 a week (2023-24) and can be paid by bank transfer to your nominated bank or building society account.
You can choose to be paid your Carer’s Allowance weekly in advance or every four weeks.
You can check whether you might meet the criteria to put in a claim on our main Carer's Allowance page, which you can visit here.
Unfortunately, only one of you can get Carer’s Allowance. If you care for someone who also cares for someone else however, you can both make a claim for Carer’s Allowance if you meet the criteria.
You can only claim Carer’s Allowance for one person you’re caring for so you would need to choose which person you claim for and check if you meet the criteria.
No. You do not have to live with the person you claim Carer’s Allowance for; they could be a relative, neighbour or friend. However, you must be providing at least 35 hours of care for them per week and meet the other criteria.
Yes, you may be able to arrange for Carer's Allowance to be backdated for up to three months (as long as you met the conditions during this period).
You don't have to give a reason for backdating your claim and you can request this on the claim form when asked the relevant question.
One point to note, however, is that Carer's Allowance could be deducted from Universal Credit as it counts as 'unearned income', but it is possible to get both benefits if you meet the criteria for both. In addition, government guidance states that 'an extra amount will be included in the calculation of your means-tested benefits, so you will not be worse off overall.'
If you have been receiving Carer’s Allowance for at least 22 weeks, it is possible to take a break from caring and carry on receiving it.
You are allowed to take a break for four weeks (in every 26 weeks) before it stops if you or the person you care for decides to go on holiday. See Carer's Allowance and breaks in care for more guidance.
For more general information about arranging a break, see our Taking a break page.
You may wonder what happens to your Carer's Allowance if you need to stay in hospital for a while or if the person you care for has to go into hospital or residential care.
There are certain rules that apply in this case. These are as follows:
- You can still claim Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks (or four weeks usually for residential care).
- You must have been providing 35 hours of care or more a week for at least 14 of the past 26 weeks and
- the person you care for must still be receiving a qualifying benefit.
Any changes to your circumstances, however small they may seem, must be reported to the Carer’s Allowance Unit or to the Disability and Carers Service in Northern Ireland as soon as possible. You can do this online if you live in Northern Ireland via this site. Or you can do this online via the gov.uk website if you live in England, Scotland or Wales.
If your changes are not reported, you may be contacted to pay back your Carer’s Allowance even if you have only overstepped the criteria by a £1 over the earnings threshold for example. Please contact us by email at email@example.com if you would like any further guidance and support.
You can continue receiving Carer's Allowance for up to eight weeks after you lose someone.
It is hard to put into words how difficult it is to lose someone close. As well as feeling an immense sense of loss and grief, the financial considerations and practical matters can sometimes be overwhelming. We offer support in our bereavement guidance to help you cope.
To help alleviate the stress of letting certain providers know, in England, Scotland or Wales, you can use the ‘Tell us Once’ service.
In Northern Ireland, you can use this service.