Carer’s Allowance: People could get £270 a month and a Christmas bonus

Martin Lewis on carer's allowance and the effect on pensions

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Carer’s Allowance can be claimed by anyone who provides unpaid care for a person, such as a friend or family member. Although, people don’t have to be related to or live with the person they care for. The type of care that is classed as “caring for someone” includes tasks such as helping with washing and cooking, taking the person being cared for to a doctor’s appointment or helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping.

Awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) people are paid £69.70 a week which equates to around £278 each month or over £3,000 every year.

Like with all benefits, there are specific terms of eligibility for people to start claiming.

For Carer’s Allowance, individuals must first be 16 years or over and spending at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

Claimants must also live in England, Scotland or Wales and have earnings of £132 or less a week after tax, National Insurance, and expenses.

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Carer’s Allowance does not depend on National Insurance contributions and is not means-tested so it is not based on personal income or savings so people from all walks of live are eligible to qualify.

It should also be noted that Carer’s Allowance is a taxable payment and can affect other benefits claimants might already be receiving.

The person being cared for must be claiming at least one of the “qualifying benefits” in order for their carer to claim the money.

These include Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Disablement Benefit Armed Forces Independence Payment, and Child/Adult Disability Payment.

If a person shares the caring duties with someone else, only one of them can claim Carer’s Allowance.

People can also only claim Carer’s Allowance once, even if they are providing care for multiple people.

People can claim online at the GOV.UK website here or phone the Carer’s Allowance Unit for a claim form on 0800 731 0297.

For anyone considering making a new claim for Carer’s Allowance, the DWP has confirmed that it currently takes 37 working days to process an application from initial submission to decision letter.

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In May of this year, the minister for disabled people, Chloe Smith MP shared that there was 39,071 Carer’s Allowance claims awaiting a decision.

According to Carers UK, there are around 6.5 million people caring for someone else in the UK.

It’s estimated half a million of them could be eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance.

People who claim Carer’s Allowance are also able to receive a Christmas Bonus from the DWP.


Every year, the Government offers a Christmas bonus of £10 to those on benefits as a one off payment.

The bonus does not need to be repaid and it will not affect any other benefits someone receives.

Those people who are part of a married couple, in a civil partnership or living together as if they are and they both get one of the qualifying benefits they’ll each get a Christmas Bonus payment.

The DWP has yet to confirm the exact date to when the payment is to be made to people however, it is usually automatically paid out in the first week of December.

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