Rules for claiming Carers' Allowance 

Rules for claiming Carers’ Allowance

To be able to claim CA you need to meet the qualifying rules.  Please check each of the rules as they are quite complicated.

Rule 1: You must regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a person who receives either:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) care component at the middle or higher rate (including for a disabled child).
  • Attendance Allowance (AA).
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with War Disablement Pension scheme.
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

Your 35 hours of caring may include the amount of time you spend:

  • Physically helping the cared for person with their personal or practical everyday needs such as toileting, washing and dressing, cooking and cleaning etc. through to assisting them on public transport and when they are out of their home environment.
  • Time spent ensuring the safety of the person and making sure they do not harm themselves or other people, e.g. preventing them wandering from the house into the street, or attempting to drive the car when they are no longer able.
  •  Time spent doing practical tasks on behalf of the cared for person, even when they are not actually present when you do them i.e. paying bills and handling finances, making/keeping appointments etc. You may also be caring for someone who visits you regularly for their care, you can include the amount of time you spend preparing for and clearing up after their visit in your 35 hours.

Rule 2: You must be aged 16 years of age or over. You can apply for Carers’ Allowance up to three months before your 16th birthday, but you will only be paid the benefit from the day you become 16 years of age.

Rule 3: You must have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2of the last 3 years (this doesn’t apply if you have refugee or humanitarian protection status). You must have been present in Great Britain (including Northern Ireland) for at least 104 weeks of 156 weeks before claiming.

Rule 4: You normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces.

Rule 5: You must not be subject to immigration control. Rules for immigration control are available at: .

Further advice about residency rights and claiming Carers’ Allowance is available from:

Carers’ UK: Tel: 0808 808 777, email is within the website.

AIRE Centre:

Rule 6: You must not be in full-time education.  You are treated as being in full-time education if you attend a course for 21 hours or more a week, it is also dependent on the type of course you are on.  Carers’ Allowance is not paid during temporary absences from your course including holiday periods.

Rule 7:  If you work (including self-employment), you must not earn more than £116 per week once allowable expenses (assessed when you apply) are deducted.  

State Pension can affect your right to CA due to the overlapping benefit rule (see Rule 8).

Rule 8: Overlapping Benefits – CA can affect benefits that either you or the person you care for can claim. The person you care for will stop receiving:

  • Severe disability premium paid with their disability payments
  • An extra amount of Severe Disability Premium paid with Pension Credit (if they are eligible).
  • Reduced Council Tax – contact your local authority to check details.

Effect on your benefits may be:

  • When you claim Carers’ Allowance the amount you claim in other benefits may be reduced. However, the amount you can claim overall will either stay the same or increase in value.
  • Carers’ Allowance doesn’t count towards the benefit cap.

If you receive Working Tax Credits or Child Credits you must inform the tax Credits Office: when you start claiming Carers’ Allowance.

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