How do I claim Carer’s Allowance and can I get cost of living support?

The Chancellor has announced in his autumn statement that benefit payments will rise in 2023 by 10.1 per cent, including Carer’s Allowance.

Currently, unpaid carers can get £69.70 per week, which equates to around £279 per month. With the increase announced by Jeremy Hunt, this could go up to £75.74 from April 2023, amounting to £302 per month.

In his statement last week, Hunt also announced that a £900 cost of living payment will be provided to households on means-tested benefits, as well as £300 to pensioner households and £150 to individuals on disability benefits.

However, people who receive Carer’s Allowance are not be eligible for the £900 cost of living payment, which is expected to be paid over two instalments in 2023 and 2024.

Here’s everything you need to know:

How do I claim Carer’s Allowance?

Individuals who care for a loved one or someone else for at least 35 hours per week are entitled to a Carer’s Allowance through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

These hours can be spent helping with washing and cooking, taking the person to doctor’s appointments, and helping with household tasks like managing bills and grocery shopping.

You must also be 16 years old or over, and have been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years. However, this does not apply if you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection status.

In order to be eligible for this allowance, the person you care for must already be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • Disability Living Allowance at the middle or highest care rate

  • Attendance Allowance

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic rate with a War Disablement Pension

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

  • Child Disability Payment at the middle or highest care rate

  • Adult Disability Payment at the standard or enhanced rate

If you are sharing care of an individual with another person who is already claiming Carer’s Allowance or the additional amount of Universal Credit for caring for someone who gets a disability-related benefit, then you will be unable to get the allowance.

Can I get the £900 cost of living payment?

If you are already claiming Carer’s Allowance, then you will not be eligible for the additional cost of living support announced by the government last week.

This was also the case with the first cost of living payment of £650 that was handed out this year.

People who claim Carer’s Allowance will only receive the payment if they, or someone else in their household, also claims a means-tested benefit.

Means-tested benefits are awarded based on a person’s income and how much capital they have.

You can use the calculator on Entitled To to check if you are eligible for means-tested benefits. The service helps people who are entitled to benefits check what they can claim and how to do it.

Entitled To is encouraging people to check if they might be entitled to any means-tested benefits if they do not already receive any, as a recent annual review of unclaimed benefits show £15bn remains unclaimed each year.