Benefits for carers

This page explains some of the rules about the benefits you may be able to claim if you have caring responsibilities.
Carers Allowance (previously called Invalid Carers Allowance) is a weekly benefit paid to people who look after family, partners or friends because they are ill, frail or have a disability. You don't have to be related to, or live with, the person you look after to get Carers Allowance.
Find out more about the Welfare Rights Advisory Service by contacting the number below

Carers Allowance

To qualify for Carers Allowance you must spend 35 hours per week providing care for a person who receives:

  • Disability Living Allowance Care Component at the middle or highest rate, or
  • Attendance Allowance (either rate), or
  • Constant Attendance Allowance paid with a War Pension, Industrial Disablement Pension, Workman's Compensation.

You need to be;

  • aged 16 or over, and
  • caring for the disabled person for at least 35 hours per week, and
  • earning less than £100 per week, and
  • not in full time work or education, and
  • regularly resident and present in the UK

How does Carers Allowance affect other benefits?

Carers Allowance will be counted as income for Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit, however, additional amounts will be added to these benefits, because you are a carer.

How do other benefits affect Carers Allowance?

Carers Allowance cannot actually be paid if you are in receipt of

  • Incapacity Benefit, or
  • State Retirement Pension, or
  • Contribution Based Jobseekers' Allowance, or
  • Maternity Allowance, or
  • Bereavement Benefits.

However, it may still be worth claiming.

Even if Carers Allowance cannot be paid because you receive the above benefits, you could still become entitled to additional amounts on other benefits as you are a carer. In some cases this could mean entitlement to Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit for the first time, or extra money on these benefits if you already claim them.

You can have breaks from caring and still be entitled to Carers Allowance but the rules are complex and you should seek advice from a welfare rights organisation.

If you claim Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance you can still claim Carers Allowance if you are a carer.


Before claiming you should check with the person you are caring for as in some instances their benefits could be affected by you claiming Carers Allowance, particularly if they live alone.

People who live alone and

  • claim Disability Living Allowance (middle or higher rate of the care components), or
  • claim Attendance Allowance, or
  • claim Constant Attendance Allowance, or
  • claim Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (or the equivalent war pension), or
  • claim Extra-Statutory payments (to compensate you for not receiving any of these benefits), and
  • receive Income Support or Pension Credit, and
  • no one gets Carers Allowance for looking after them

may qualify for a Severe Disability Premium. This premium, paid as part of Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit. The premium is worth £53.65 for a single person and £107.30 for couples.

If you claim Carers Allowance the person you care for could loose this premium.

CEA Companion's Concessionary Card

Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) in association with cinema companies and the Disability Rights Commission have introduced a new initiative, an ID card for those guests wishing to take advantage of our free ticket policy for companions. This card is also accepted by all major Cinema chains in the UK.

The national concessionary "CEA Card" is now available and entitles the holder to one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. For your assistance CEA information leaflets and application forms are available from our Box Office.

To apply for the card you will need to meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be in receipt of disability living allowance or attendance allowance
  • Be a registered blind person

For further information please contact The Card Network on 0845 123 1292 minicom/textphone 0845 123 1297 or visit

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