Carers Allowance (formerly Invalid Care Allowance)

Who is it for?
Those caring 35 hours per week or more for someone who gets either of top 2 rates of DLA care component or AA at either rate.

Who pays it?
CA Unit
Palatine House
Lancaster Road
Preston PR1 1HB
Tel: 01253 856 123

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
DS700 – Claim pack includes information and application form. Obtain from CA Unit or Benefits Enquiry Line 0845 608 4321or online or  0845 604 5312 for people with speech or hearing difficulties

What are the age limits?
From 16 years. No upper limit.

National Insurance based?

Means tested?
No (but there is an £100 p.w. net earnings limit for claimant).

How long does it last?
Linked to DLA or AA of the person cared for. Special rules when person cared for dies or goes into hospital/care.

What is effect on other benefits?
Counts as income for all means tested benefits and overlaps with others. Triggers a carers premium for IS, HB, CTB, and extra pension credit

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?
Payment for adult dependant of £31.70 per week but only if dependant has no other benefit income higher than that amount, which is unlikely. No increase for children – claimants to claim CTC instead.

Payable if in EU or other?
As with AA and DLA but only up to 4 weeks if without AA/DLA claimant. But take advice before claiming.

Points to watch
CA is been payable to people aged over 65 – for many pensioners, there will be no obvious gain as CA is less than their retirement pension. However, an application which only fails on that basis gives ‘underlying entitlement’ to CA which leads to a carers premium within housing and council tax benefit and extra pension credit. Gives a Class 1 NI credit. Beware overlap between CA award and severe disability premium paid to disabled person.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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