Carers Allowance is a non-means tested benefit that is taxable. Currently £66.15 per week you may be eligible if you look after someone who receives a qualifying disability benefit;
Attendance Allowance – either rate
DLA care component at the middle or high rate
PIP Daily living tasks/activities at either rate,
Constant attendance allowance (for someone in receipt of a war disablement pension or Industrial injuries benefit)
Severe disablement allowance (replaced by ESA, no new claims from 2001)
You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person that you care for but will be aged 16 or over, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them.
Although carers allowance is not means tested it has an earnings rule which means you cannot earn (in wages, not income) currently over £123 per week (net) after deductions.
An important benefit for carers it can also lead to additional premiums on means tested benefits as we have seen with Pension Credit but bear in mind that claiming this benefit may also affect a means tested benefit for the disabled person being cared for.
For example; a severe disability premium only applies if no one is claiming carers allowance for looking after the disabled person.
Carers who don’t qualify for Carer’s Allowance may qualify for Carer’s Credit.
If you are caring for 20 hours or more you do not have to lose out on National Insurance Credits and could get Carer’s Credit which helps build your entitlement to the basic State Pension and additional State Pension. It makes sure there are no gaps in your National Insurance record.
To get Carer’s Credit you must be aged 16 or over and under state pension age.
The person you’re looking after must get one of the following:
Disability Living Allowance care component at the middle or highest rate, Attendance Allowance/Constant Attendance Allowance
Personal Independence Payment - daily living component, at the standard or enhanced rate
Armed Forces Independence Payment
If the person you’re caring for doesn’t get one of these benefits, you may still be able to get Carer’s Credit. When you apply, fill in the ‘care certificate’ part of the application form and get a health or social care professional to sign it.