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Benefits for carers

Carer premium

The carer premium is an amount (up to £33.30) that is included in the calculation of any means-tested benefits you get if you're also paid Carer's Allowance, or have an underlying entitlement to it.

The exact amount you receive depends on your financial situation. Not everyone will receive the full £33.30.

Non-means-tested benefits

Carer's Allowance is an earnings replacement benefit that is both non-contributory and non-means tested.

You may be able to get non-means-tested benefits regardless of your income and savings. They are divided into contributory (based on your National Insurance contributions) and non-contributory (not based on your National Insurance contributions).

Contributory benefits

  • Bereavement benefits
  • Employment and Support Allowance (contribution based)  
  • Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker's Allowance (contribution based)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • State Pension

Non-contributory benefits

Personal Independence Payment

In April 2013, a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment replaced Disabled Living Allowance for disabled people aged 16 to 64

If you are eligible for both contributory- and non-contributory benefits, you will be paid the contributory benefit.

Many of the non-means-tested benefits are earnings replacement benefits. You usually can't receive more than one of the earnings replacement benefits at the same time. This means that if you receive an earnings replacement benefit, you will not be paid Carer's Allowance as well. However, you may still have an underlying entitlement to it if you are a carer and meet all the other eligibility criteria for Carer's Allowance.

Underlying entitlement

If you are a carer and you meet the eligibility criteria for Carer's Allowance, but you cannot be paid Carer's Allowance because you're already getting another earnings replacement benefit, you may still have an underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance.

This means that although you won't actually be paid any Carer's Allowance, it's still worth making a claim for Carer's Allowance if you get a means-tested benefit. This is because the underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance means that the carer premium (or carer addition for Pension Credit) can be included in the calculation of any means-tested benefits you're entitled to. In other words, you could get an extra £33.30 added to your means-tested benefit.

Means-tested benefits

Means-tested benefits are benefits you get depending on your capital and income. Carer's Allowance is classed as income and therefore any increase in your income (including getting Carer's Allowance) will affect your means test. You must let the relevant department know that you have been awarded Carer's Allowance or have an underlying entitlement to it. Once you have done this, the carer premium should then be added to your benefit.

If you already claim or are about to make a claim for any of the following means-tested benefits, have a look at the relevant pages listed below:


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Page last reviewed: 11/12/2013

Next review due: 11/12/2015

Call Carers Direct on 0300 123 1053

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Media last reviewed: 17/07/2013

Next review due: 17/07/2015