Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Tax Credits and Benefits

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As a carer, there is a wide range of financial support available to you. Guardian Carers are here to help you search for the perfect placement that will meet the eligibility criteria needed to apply for these claims.


The main financial benefit you could claim for is Carer’s Allowance, which is a taxable benefit eligible to you if you care for a disabled person for 35 hours or more each week. You do not have to be related to, or live with, the person you look after. The Carer’s Allowance consists of £66.15 a week in 2019/2020, however the payment would not be increased if you are caring for more than one person. This benefit does not depend on the level of your savings or income you or your partner may have, or if you have paid any National Insurance contributions (NIC). In addition, if you are claiming Carer’s Allowance, you will also receive a Christmas Bonus. This tax-free bonus will be given to you just before Christmas at the end of each year in the amount of £10. However, it is important to take into consideration that you will only receive a Carer’s Allowance Christmas Bonus if you are not getting a Christmas Bonus with another benefit.


There is a certain criteria needed for a carer to be eligible to apply for Carer’s Allowance:

  • You have to be based in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years
  • You could claim for Carer’s Allowance if you work more than 35 hours caring for a disabled person.
  • You need to be aged 16 or over when you qualify for Carer’s Allowance
  • Your income is less than £123 a week after tax, national insurance and expenses
  • You are not in full-time education or studying more than 21 hours a week
  • You are not subject to immigration control (although there could be some exceptions to this)


It is highly important to take into consideration of whether the person you care for has the criteria to enable you to claim Carer’s Allowance. They must already be claiming at least one of the following:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit


Carer’s Allowance is paid to the person who does the caring, not the person being cared for. However, if the person you are caring for receives certain benefits, the amount they receive may be affected by your claim for Carer’s Allowance. It is very important that both you and the person you are caring for will understand the possible consequences of your claim for Carer’s Allowance. It is important to seek advice from a welfare rights specialists from a local advice agency before you start claiming, therefore it will help you to understand the possible impact on your current benefits.

Carer’s allowance is considered as income if you are taking Universal Credit, therefore it is taxable and could affect other benefits you may be receiving. If you are already claiming State Pension or any other income replacing benefits, such as contributory or new style Employment and Support Allowance, unfortunately you will not be able to receive Carer’s Allowance.

It is possible that your Carer’s Allowance may affect the benefits of the person you are caring for. For example, if the person is claiming Severe Disability Premium, this may be discontinued as a result of your Carer’s Allowance. They will also stop receiving extra amount for severe disability paid with Pension Credit, as well as a reduced Council Tax.


In order for you to claim Carer’s Allowance, you must earn at least £123 a week or more in 2019/2010. This may include income from employment or self-employment, such as having a part-time job. However, it is important to understand that if you are receiving money from a private occupational pension, this will not be considered as earnings. If you are already claiming Carer’s Allowance, or meet the eligibility criteria for it, then there is no need to actively apply for Carer’s Premium yourself. It will be automatically by the relevant government department.

In order to apply for Carer’s Allowance, you will need to ensure you can provide certain information about you and the person you are caring for.

To claim for Carer’s Allowance you will need to provide information on the following:

  • The details of the benefits you are already receiving
  • The benefits the person your caring for is receiving
  • National Insurance numbers
  • Personal details, such as date of birth and addresses
  • Time spent in employment, education and abroad
  • Bank or building society details


Once you have made the decision to claim for Carer’s Allowance, you should start claiming as soon as possible if the person you are caring for is claiming any of the benefits mentioned above. However, there is an exception for claiming later if:

  • The person you are caring for has not claimed for any of the benefits needed to be eligible
  • The person you are caring for is waiting for a decision on their pending claim application


There are a wide range of benefits you may receive if you are a carer and claiming Carer’s Allowance. For example, you will automatically be entitled to Carer’s Credit. The Carer’s Credit is a National Insurance credit specifically for carers under the state pension age. This benefit helps with the gaps in your National Insurance record and protects our future entitlement to the basic elements of your state pension.

You are still able to receive Carer’s Credit even if you are not claiming for Carer’s Allowance and not making any contributions to your State Pension due to your caring role. As a carer, you may be entitled to this credit if you are:

  • You are aged 16 or over
  • You are caring for someone at least 20 hours a week
  • You are not yet receiving State Pension
  • The person you are caring for is receiving benefits for their illness or disability. For example, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment. If the person you are caring for is not receiving any of the eligible benefits, then you could still be able to claim by completing a ‘Care Certificate’

As a carer, you may also be entitled to an additional payment with Carer Premium. In order to claim for Carer Premium, you do not necessarily need to be receiving Carer’s Allowance, however you do need to meet the same eligibility criteria. If you are receiving Carer Premium, you will be getting a payment of £36.85 a week.

In order to claim for Carer Premium, you will need to receive at least one of these benefits:

  • Housing Benefit
  • Universal Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment Support and Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Support


Searching for your next carer job could be a daunting task, specifically if this is a new career path for you. Guardian Carers will go above and beyond to find you the best possible job and ensure your new role will meet the eligibility criteria needed to claim for any benefits you may be entitled to. Our expert consultants are on hand and take the time to understand your current situation, salary expectations and the areas you would like to work in. While taking all of this into consideration, we will then use our years of experience in the care industry to ensure the job we find for you, will also give you the opportunity to apply for a selection of benefits available for carers.

Guardian Carer’s premium level of service has resulted in 95% of our carers working in long-term placements. You will receive a great deal of support from the agency throughout the process of your job search, as well as helping you with any follow-up queries or concerns you may have once the search has been completed. We prioritise your needs and make sure to provide you with the best possible options that are suitable for you.

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