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How to claim Carers' Allowance

Fill in claim form DS700.  You can obtain a copy of this by contacting:

The Carer’s Allowance Unit


Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 2AD
Telephone: 0345 6084321
Textphone: 0345 6045312
Email: cau.customer-services@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

You can contact these numbers between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm Monday to Thursday, and between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm on Fridays.
If your first language is not English or Welsh, ask for information about the interpreter service.

Do it online – you can make a claim for Carer’s Allowance or report a change of circumstances without having to complete a paper claim form.  The online claim will:

  • Be received at the Carer’s Allowance Unit immediately

  • Has fewer questions than the paper claim form

  • Doesn’t require a signature or printing

Claim at: www.gov.uk/apply-carers-allowance


Backdating of claims

Income Support is usually backdated for up to 1 month in most cases but can be backdated for up to 3 months in some circumstances.  If you are already claiming Income Support, the carer premium can be backdated to when your Carer’s Allowance begins or when your Income Support began, whichever was the later claim.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction can be backdated for up to 3 months and in some circumstances 6 months. Pension Credit can be backdated for up to 3 months.  If you are already claiming one of these benefits the carer premium or carer addition can be backdated to when your claim for Carer’s Allowance began, or when your other benefit began, whichever was the later claim.


Change of circumstances

It is important to report any change in your circumstances as soon as possible to ensure the correct payment of your benefit. Report any changes of circumstance to the Carer’s Allowance Unit (see above for details). The type of situations you may need to inform the Carer’s Allowance Unit about include:


Taking a break from caring

You are able to take a break from your caring role for up to 4 weeks in every 26 weeks and still be paid Carer’s Allowance. You must have been providing care for at least 35 hours a week within 14 of the past 26 weeks to qualify, and the person you care for must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit during that period.  Carer’s Allowance will stop if the total amount of breaks you take add up to more than 12 weeks within the last 26 weeks.  This includes any time you spend in hospital for your own health needs.


Travelling abroad

Carer’s Allowance will continue to be paid for up to 26 weeks whilst you are travelling abroad if:

  • You go abroad with the person you care for

  • He or she continues to receive a qualifying disability benefit

  • You are travelling with the purpose of taking care of them

Under other circumstances you can continue to receive Carer’s Allowance for up to 4 weeks so long as you have not already had more than 4 weeks break from caring within the last 26 weeks.  You can have had up to a further 8 weeks break (totaling 12 weeks) from caring within the last 26 weeks if the break was due to you or the person you care for being in hospital.


What happens if the cared for person goes into hospital?

If the person you care for goes into hospital you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks or until their qualifying disability benefit stops being paid to them. Disability benefits will stop after:

  • 4 weeks stay in a NHS hospital if the cared for person is aged 16 or over

  • 12 weeks stay in a NHS hospital if the cared for person is aged under 16.


Carer’s premium or addition will continue to be paid for a further 8 weeks after your Carer’s Allowance ceases. 


What happens if the cared for person moves into residential care?

If the person you care for goes into residential care your Carer’s Allowance will stop as you are no longer caring for them for 35 hours a week or more, or when their qualifying benefit stops being paid to them.  The following benefits cease being paid to the cared for person 4 weeks after they move to residential care unless they are self-funding their care or are part of a deferred payment scheme and likely to be able to self-fund their care in the near future:

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)  - personal care component

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component


The carer’s premium, or addition, will continue to be paid with your means-tested benefits for up to 8 weeks after your Carer’s Allowance payments have ceased.


What happens if the cared for person dies?

Carer’s Allowance and the carer premium or addition can be paid for up to 8 weeks after the person you care for has died, so long as you still meet the age, study, earnings, and residency criteria needed to claim Carer’s Allowance. Carer premium and addition also continue to be paid for up to 8 weeks if you meet the underlying entitlement criteria of claiming an overlapping benefit.

The carer element of Universal Credit will continue to be paid for the rest of the assessment period in which the cared for person dies, and the following two assessment periods. An assessment period is one calendar month, starting from the date you first made your claim for Universal Credit.

To report any of these changes in circumstances contact:

The Carer’s Allowance Unit


Palatine House
Lancaster Road
Preston
PR1 1HB
Telephone: 0345 6084321 Fax: 01772 899 354
Textphone: 0345 6045312

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