Benefits and support for carers
This information is for adults who care for another adult. Support and information is also available for carers who are under 18 on the NHS website, and adults who care for children on the Carers UK website.
On this page:
As a carer, you can get an assessment of your support needs. Each nation has its own system of assessment.
A carer’s assessment is an evaluation to establish if you need support to carry out your caring duties, so you can lead a healthy, balanced life.
It looks at how caring affects your health, relationships, employment, education and lifestyle. It will also consider if you’re able and willing to carry on being a carer.
Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit available for carers across the UK. You may be eligible if you care for someone with substantial caring needs for 35 hours a week or more. You do not have to live with or be related to the person you care for. Your eligibility is based on your circumstances, such as:
- your age
- whether you work and what you earn
- whether you get other benefits.
If you get the state pension, get specialist advice before you apply for Carer’s Allowance, as the two benefits can’t be paid at the same time.
It also takes into account the benefits the person you are caring for receives. The person you care for must already get one of these benefits:
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) daily living component
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the middle or highest care rate
- Attendance Allowance (AA)
Carer’s Allowance Supplement in Scotland
Carer’s Allowance Supplement is an extra payment for people living in Scotland who are getting Carer’s Allowance on a set date. It’s paid 2 times a year.
You’ll get a letter from Social Security Scotland if you’re due to get this payment.
You could also get Carer’s Credit if you care for someone for at least 20 hours a week. You automatically get Carer’s Credit if you get Carer’s Allowance, or child benefits for a child under the age of 12.
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.
Filling out the forms can be daunting.
If you need help to complete them:
- Citizens Advice has detailed information on their website and you can chat online with an adviser or visit your local Citizens Advice. Sometimes Citizens Advice is based in GP surgeries or community centres
- Get in touch with your local carers services on the carers website or services in your area on the Age UK website
- Search for other local help using your postcode on the Turn2Us website
Your carer’s assessment may identify you need a break from caring from time to time. This is called respite care and may be provided by your council after your carer’s assessment or after the person you care for has had an assessment. Your council or local carer’s centre can give you information about what’s available in your area.
Taking a break could be particularly important due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You might feel more tired than usual, especially if the usual respite services you use have closed temporarily.
There are different ways you can take a break. Think about what type of break will suit you. You may want an hour every week, a day here and there, a week or two for a holiday, or a combination of all of these.
There are many ways to arrange and pay for you to take a break. You may be able to get help from your local council, charities or benevolent funds, or you may need to pay for care yourself.
Carers UK has useful information on taking a break. It includes organisations that may be able to help arrange and fund a break.
Carers UK Helpline: 0808 808 7777
Carers Trust (UK): 0300 772 9600
Carers Wales: 0808 808 7777
Carers Trust Wales: 0300 772 9702
Carers Scotland: 0800 808 7777
Carers Trust Scotland: 0300 772 7701
Carers Northern Ireland: 028 9043 9843
How can I get help with heating costs?
If you live with a lung condition, you’ll know how important it is to stay warm in the winter. Help with your heating costs is available.