Welfare Benefit Fact Sheet

Here is a summary of the main benefits you may be entitled to as a carer along with information about how to claim them.  Please note, this is a brief guide only and intended to help you decide if you may be eligible to make a claim.  Benefits can be complicated to calculate but there is a lot of helpful information online via the Government website www.gov.uk You may also speak to a member of our Community Support Team or book an Advice Surgery Appointment contact us on 020 8514 6251 .


Carers Allowance (CA)

Carers Allowance is the main benefit for carers.  To be eligible for Carers Allowance you must be aged 16 or over and not in full time education. You must also be providing at least 35 hours of care for someone per week.  Carers Allowance is not based on your National Insurance contributions nor is it means tested so is not based on you or our partner’s income or capital.  However, if you work the amount you earn can affect your entitlement and if you earn more than £123 per week, (after deductions), you will not be eligible to receive the benefit.  To claim Carers Allowance the person you care for must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit:

  • The middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA);
  • Either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
  • Either rate of Attendance Allowance (AA);
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).

If you are already in receipt of certain benefits including the State Pension this may affect your entitlement to Carers Allowance.

For more information click on the link for Carers Allowance.

To request a CA claim form: 0800 731 0297


Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

If you are aged 16 – 64 and have a long term disability or need help with daily activities and you are not already receiving Disability Living Allowance you can claim PIP.  PIP is a tax free benefit and is non means tested i.e. you can claim it regardless of your income, savings or National Insurance contributions.  You can claim PIP if you are working or in education or if you are in receipt of Carers Allowance and have care needs yourself. PIP does not affect other benefits and can help you to qualify for certain benefits such as help with Council Tax.  You may spend your PIP however you choose and you do not have to use it to pay for care. However, the Council can take PIP into account during a financial assessment for care services.  There are two components of PIP; a daily living component and a mobility component and either can be paid at the standard or enhanced Rate:

Please check on Personal Independent Payment for the current rates or to apply.

You can receive payments for one or both components of PIP.  The assessment for PIP looks at how your disability or condition affects your mobility and/or your ability to carry out daily activities and scores you accordingly. The first stage of the claim process is a telephone call to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who will ask you some questions to check you are eligible to claim. Make sure you have your National Insurance Number and details of your GP or health professional with you during the call.  If you are deemed eligible you will be sent a claim form to complete asking for information about how your disability affects you.  You normally have to complete the PIP form within 1 month.  Your completed form is looked at by a health professional and you may be invited to a face to face consultation.  A decision letter about your claim will be sent to you within 6-8 weeks.  If you do not agree with the decision the letter includes details about how you may appeal.

To claim PIP call: 0800 917 2222


Attendance Allowance (AA)

Attendance Allowance is a non means tested benefit that can be claimed by anyone over the age of 65 with care needs.  You can also be a carer with care needs and already claiming Carers Allowance and it will not affect your benefits.  The person you care for may also be eligible for AA.   Claiming AA may help you to get other benefits such as help with Council Tax.  However, the Council can take AA into account during a financial assessment for care services.  You may spend your AA however you choose and you do not have to use it to pay for care.  To be eligible for AA you must be over state pensionable age and need help looking after yourself because you have an illness or disability.  You must have the illness or disability for at least 6 months before you quality for AA. (You can make the claim beforehand but will not be paid any benefit before 6 months have passed). 

Please click on the link to get more information, Attendance Allowance.

To claim you should ring the AA Helpline (numbers at the bottom of this factsheet) and ask for a form to be sent to you. You will have around 6 weeks to complete the form.  The form is very long as it asks questions about the help you need both during the day and the night.  The type of help you need must include personal care e.g. help with washing, taking medication, communicating etc and/or monitoring e.g. needing to be checked on for your own safety.  To receive the Higher Rate of AA you must need help both during the day and night.  Remember, what matters is whether you need the help, not whether you are already getting it. 

To request an AA claim form: 0800 731 0122 


Pension Credit

Pension Credit is a means tested benefit for anyone that has reached State Pensionable age and have income or capital under a certain amount.  Please note, the State Pension age is gradually increasing and is set to be 66 by October 2020 irrespective of gender. The rules for mixed aged couples changed in May 2019 and if only one of you is over State Pension age you must claim Universal Credit instead. If both of you are over State Pension age then you are eligible to claim Pension Credit. There are two parts to Pension Credit, Guarantee Pension Credit and Savings Pension Credit.


Guarantee Pension Credit tops up your income to the appropriate amount the Government says you need to live on based on a ‘minimum guarantee’ and any other amounts you are entitled to. (Additional amounts can include a Carer Addition if you are receiving Carers Allowance for example). 

Savings Pension Credit rewards people over State Pension age that have a second pension or modest savings.  Your income and capital will affect the amount you get.  If you reached State Pension age on or after 16th April 2016 you are no longer eligible for Pension Savings Credit.  This is unless your partner reached State Pension age before this cut off date or you were already in receipt of the benefit.

To check the current rates click on the link for Pension Credit

To claim Pension Credit call: 0800 991 234

To get more information on current rates on various benefit click on this link: Benefit and Pension Rates