Carer's Allowance (CA) is a benefit for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a severely disabled person. You don't have to be related to, or live with, the disabled person. You are not prevented from getting CA if you are disabled yourself and require care, but you must be caring for another person who gets AA or DLA care component at the middle or highest rate.
If you are paid CA, a carer premium will be included in your applicable amount for means-tested benefits. If you have claimed CA and would have been paid it but for the fact that it overlaps with state pension or another benefit, you also get the carer premium. An equivalent addition to the carer premium is included in the calculation of pension credit. If you are paid CA, the person you are caring for cannot get the severe disability premium included in their applicable amount for means-tested benefits.
CA is not means tested and does not depend on past National Insurance (NI) contributions, but it is taxable. CA gives you Class 1 NI contribution credits and helps you qualify for additional state pension.
DO YOU QUALIFY?
You must regularly spend at least 35 hours a week (see below) caring for a person who receives either:
- Daily living component of the Personal Independence Payment
- DLA care component (at the middle or highest rate only); or
- AA at either rate; or
- Constant attendance allowance (of £64.70 or more) paid with the Industrial Injuries or War Pensions schemes.
You must be aged 16 or over.
You must pass the UK residence and presence tests, and must not be subject to immigration control (please note the residence and presence rules change as from April 2013).
You cannot get Carer's Allowance if you are on a course of full-time education, or you are on holiday from full-time education (21 hours a week). If you work, you must not earn more than £100 a week once allowable expenses are deducted.
CA can continue for up to 8 weeks after the person you look after dies. You must continue to satisfy all the rules other than those related to the care of a disabled person or that person's receipt of a qualifying benefit.
You can only get one award of CA, even if you care for more than one person.
If you are caring for more than one person, you can't add together the time you spend caring for each of them. You have to show that for at least 35 hours each week you are caring for one person. If you meet the 35-hours test during part of the year (e.g. in school holidays) you may qualify for CA during that period.
CARERS ALLOWANCE PER WEEK
For yourself £59.75
For an adult dependant £35.15*
*available on claims made before 06.04.10 only
HOW DO YOU CLAIM?
You claim on form DS700 (DS700 SP if you get a State Pension). The forms are available from your local Jobcentre Plus office or you can contact the Carer's Allowance Unit on 0845 608 4321. You can also visit www.gov.uk/carers-allowance for further information and to make a claim online.
Backdating - If you were entitled to CA prior to claiming it, CA will be backdated for up to 3 months.
HOW DO EARNINGS AFFECT CA?
You cannot get CA if your net earnings are more than £100 a week (i.e. after taking off tax, National Insurance (NI) contributions, half of any contribution you make towards an occupational or personal pension.
HOW DO OTHER BENEFITS AFFECT CA?
If you are entitled to CA you can also get the Carer Premium (or Carer's Addition if you are on Pension Credit) when claiming Income Support, Income Related ESA, Income Related JSA, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. If you receive another benefit e.g. State Pension or Contributory ESA, which prevents you from actually being paid CA you can still get the Carer Premium/Addition. If you are paid CA it may stop the person you care for from getting the Severe Disability Premium as part of their Income Support, Income Related ESA, Income Related JSA, HB or CTB. If you are paid CA because you are on another benefit you can get the Carer Premium/ Addition and the person you care for will keep their Severe Disability Premium.
You can get CA at the same time as disability living allowance (DLA) or attendance allowance (AA).
Whilst all the information given in this document was correct at the time of going to press, DIAL Doncaster cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes.