Understanding Benefits


If you’re caring for someone it could well be that both you and the person you care for could receive some financial support. It can be a bit of a minefield as there are lots of different benefits and they can sometimes affect each other.

Here’s a brief rundown of the main benefits which could be relevant. Please don’t hesitate to contact your local benefits office for more information.


Carers Allowance

If you’re caring for someone at least 35 hours a week it could be that you’re eligible for this Carer’s Allowance (currently £66.16 week). Other eligibility criteria includes:

  • You must be aged 16 years or over;
  • You have been living in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two out of the last three years;
  • You usually live in England, Scotland or Wales, or live abroad as a member of the armed forces;
  • You’re not studying for more than 21 hours a week;
  • You don’t earn above £123 per week after deductions (i.e. tax, cost of replacement care)

In order to apply for Carers Allowance the person you care for must be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) the middle or highest care rate

If you’re over 65 years and receiving a State Pension it could be that you’re not eligible for Carers Allowance but it’s still worth applying. Benefits such as Pension Credit could be increased due to your caring role.

You must keep the Carers Allowance Unit updated if you have a break from caring , for example if you go on holiday or the person you care for goes into hospital.

In order to apply for Carers Allowance you can call you can either go online at: www.gov.uk/carers-allowance

Or you can call 0800 731 0297 to request a claim pack
Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm

Carers Credit

Carers Credit can help to fill gaps in your national insurance records , which your state pension is based on. If you’re not eligible for Carers Allowance but you’re caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week you may still be eligible for Carers Credit. Your income and savings will not affect eligibility for this benefit.

In order to apply for Carers Credit, as well is caring for someone for at least 20 hours a week, you must be aged 16 years or over but under state pension age.

The person you care for could be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – standard or enhanced, daily living component;
  • Attendance Allowance;
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – middle or highest care rate;
  • Armed Forces Independence payment (AFIP)

If the person you care for doesn’t receive any of the benefits listed above, you should still be eligible to receive Carers Credit. In this case you’ll need to fill in the “Care Certificate” part of the application form and ask a health or social care professional to sign it.

You can download the Carers Credit application form at:

Or you can call 0800 731 0297 to request a claim pack
Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit that helps with the extra costs of long-term health condition or disability for people aged 16 to 64. PIP will gradually replace the DLA over the next few years. It is non-means tested, so it doesn’t matter how much money you have earned or having savings.

In order to be eligible for PIP you must:

  • Need help with everyday tasks like getting shop shopping or getting dressed;
  • Have needed this help for the last three months, and would expect to need this up for another nine months (unless terminally ill)

PIP is made up of two components:

  • Mobility: if you need help getting about, such as to the shops;
  • Daily living: if you need help doing daily activities like getting dressed, cooking meals et.c.

To make a PIP claim you need to call the Department of Work and Pensions
0800 917 2222 or see their website at www.gov.uk/pip

Attendance Allowance

This benefit is for people over the age of 65 who need help looking after themselves due to physical or mental care needs. Attendance Allowance isn’t means tested and it can help with the extra cost of daily care

Attendance Allowance is paid at two different rates: higher and lower. People who need help either day or night usually receive the lower rate (currently £57.30 per week) where is people you need help during both the day and the night usually receive the higher rate (currently £85.60 per week).

Attendance Allowance is intended to cover costs towards personal support. It doesn’t cover mobility needs.

To find out more visit www.gov.uk/attendance–allowance

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

DLA is now being phased out by the government and is being replaced by Personal Independence Payment. You can no longer apply for DLA. If you’re born on or before 8 April 1948 you’ll continue to get DLA as long as you’re eligible for it.

If you’re born after 8 April 1948, your DLA will end. You’ll get a letter telling you when that will happen. However, you’ll continue to get DLA until that date. Unless your circumstances change, you don’t need to do anything until you get this letter.

Disability Service Centre: 0800 121 4600

If your circumstances change, and this may affect your DLA or PIP payments, you need to let them know. These changes may include:

  • a change in the type of help you need or changing condition;
  • you going to hospital or care home for over four weeks
Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a payment to help you with living costs. It is paid monthly. Universal Credit will replace the following benefits:

  • child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, income–based job seekers allowance (JSA), income–related employment and support allowance (ESA), working tax credit.

You might be eligible for Universal Credit if:

  • you’re on a low income or out of work;
  • you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17);
  • you’re under Pension Credit qualifying age (or your partner is);
  • you and / or your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you;
  • usually you need to apply for Universal Credit online, and then you’ll need to go to an appointment at your local job centre.


Council Tax Exemption (dementia)

People with dementia can find that they are eligible for a discount on their Council Tax and sometimes the people who care for them can also be eligible for a discount. We advise you contact the Council Tax department of your local County Council.

List of County Councils

My Dementia Network

Find out what local dementia-friendly activities, services and resources are available closest to you.