Welfare Benefits

Often caring responsibilities mean that your finances are hit. The benefits system is complicated, with each benefit having its own set of rules. Working out what benefits you might be entitled to can feel like a battle. Having the right information and support can make a huge difference.

The key benefits for carers are below. At the bottom of this page there are links to other organisations who can offer help and advice.

Carers Allowance is the main benefit for carers. If you are looking after someone for 35 hours a week or more, you may be eligible. You don't have to be related to or live with the person you care for to claim Carer's Allowance.

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Attendance Allowance is a benefit for older people who may need extra help to stay independent at home, due to an illness or disability. If you are a carer who has care needs, you can claim Attendance Allowance for yourself and this will not affect your Carer’s Allowance.

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Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged between 16 and 64 who may need help with daily activities or getting around because of a long-term illness or disability. It’s not designed to help people whose disability or illness affects them in the short term.

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Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit that could give you some money if you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work.

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If you are in a Universal Credit (UC) full (digital) service area, you will no longer be able to claim ESA, and will have to claim UC instead.To find out whether you are in a UC full (digital) service area or whether you are in an area where you still need to meet the gateway conditions to claim UC you can enter your postcode on the revenue benefits website.

For support with PIP and ESA forms click here >>


Universal Credit (UC) is a means-tested benefit that is being gradually introduced. UC is replacing Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit. These are referred to in this information as ‘legacy benefits’. When UC will affect you will depend on your circumstances and where you live. 

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Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for those looking after a child with a health condition or disability who is under the age of 16 years. This can help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child. DLA is NOT means testing. Note, people aged 16-64 can no longer make a new claim of DLA, and should instead claim  Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Attendance Allowance if you are 65 years of age or older.

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Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit for people who have reached 'state pension credit age' and who have income and capital below a certain amount. 

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Council tax is a local form of taxation on domestic property and is collected by local councils (often referred to as local authorities). There are a number of ways in which people can get help with council tax. 

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If you would like to speak to someone at Carers FIRST about what benefits you may be entitled to you can call our Carers Hub on 0300 303 1555. Alternatively there are several other organisations who can give you advice on benefits:

Carers UK offer a wide range of information about benefits including challenging benefits decisions. They also have an Advice Line open on Mondays and Tuesday between 10am and 4pm - 0808 808 7777 

Turn2Us is a charity supporting people to get back on track and access what they are entitled to. Their free Benefits Calculator and Grants Search tools will help you find financial support you may be able to access, They also have a help line open 9 am - 5:30 pm, Monday – Friday 0808 802 2000. Turn2us can't give advice about personal benefits or grants issues. If you need personal advice about your specific situation, use their Find an Adviser tool to look for a local adviser to help you.

Age UK offers a wide range of information about benefits and also has a Benefits Calculator to help find out what you may be entitled to. They have an advice line 0800 055 6112 and also provide expert support with claiming benefits. Contact your local Age UK if you need help.

To find out what the current benefit rates arclick here >>