For more information about welfare benefits, call our helpline on 03000 030 555.

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Welfare benefits

Benefits for carers

If you look after someone with caring needs you may be entitled to Carer's Allowance or Carer's Credit. 

On this page:

Carer’s Allowance

If you look after someone with substantial caring needs, are over 16 and spend at least 35 hours a week caring for them, you may be able to claim a Carer’s Allowance. You do not have to live with or be related to the person you care for.

The person you care for must already get 1 of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or highest care rate
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)

If you get the state pension, get specialist advice before you apply for Carer’s Allowance, as the 2 benefits can’t be paid at the same time. Our helpline can advise you about this. Call them on 03000 030 555.

Carer’s Allowance is non-contributory and non-means-tested. But any means-tested benefits you do get will be reduced by the same amount you get from Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Credit

You could also get Carer’s Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week. You cannot claim if you’re already claiming Carer’s Allowance.

Carer’s Credit is a national insurance credit. So if you have to stop work due to your caring responsibilities, contributions will still be paid. This means you can take on caring responsibilities without affecting your ability to qualify for the state pension.

Next: Top-up benefits >

Download our welfare benefits information (PDF, 270KB)

Last medically reviewed: December 2017. Due for review: December 2018

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.