Carers Allowance in the News

Two people holding hands depicting a caring relationship

Carer’s Allowance has been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently. Some people who were working, as well as caring for someone for 35 or more hours a week, have had problems with their benefit because of income rules. This is really hard for them, and the news may put other people off claiming their entitlement. One of the reasons some people hesitate to claim what they are due is a fear of getting things wrong.

Carer’s Allowance has been around since 1976, though it was then called Invalid Care Allowance. At first, married women were not entitled to claim; this was finally fixed by a European Court decision in 1986.

Who qualifies for Carer’s Allowance?

Carer’s Allowance is paid to people who care for 35 hours a week or more for someone who receives

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance (part of an industrial injury benefit or a war pension)
  • the middle or highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Adult Disability Payment (Adult Disability Payment is replacing Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance in Scotland)
  • the middle or highest rate of the care component of Child Disability Payment (this has replaced Child Disability Living Allowance in Scotland).

Claiming Carer’s Allowance can help you to be entitled to means tested benefits such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit, or an increase in those benefits. In some cases, claiming Carer’s Allowance can reduce the benefits of the person you care for, so get advice from an expert benefit adviser before you make a claim. You can see what benefits you might be entitled to on the Turn2us website here Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

Carer’s allowance has rules about how much you can earn, and also about being in full-time education  Carer’s Allowance – Citizens Advice

Carer’s benefits in Scotland


Carer’s Allowance is one of the benefits that is being devolved from Westminster (paid by the Department for Work and Pensions) to the Scottish Government (paid by Social Security Scotland).

The Scottish Government has created a top-up benefit called Carer’s Allowance Supplement that is paid twice a year to most people in Scotland who receive Carer’s Allowance or the new Carer Support Payment Carer’s Allowance Supplement –

Carer Support Payment is now being introduced to replace Carer’s Allowance in Scotland. For the time being the rules for Carer Support Payment are almost the same as those for Carer’s Allowance, though some full-time students will be able to qualify for the Scottish benefit.

People who currently receive Carer’s Allowance will be moved onto Carer Support Payment, this is expected to be done by spring 2025. You will receive letters about the process, and you will not need to make a new claim.

If you are making a new claim for a benefit as a carer, the benefit you claim depends on where in Scotland you live. If you live in Perth and Kinross, Western Isles or Dundee City you will claim Carer Support Payment Carer Support Payment –   If you live elsewhere in Scotland you will Claim Carer’s Allowance Carer’s Allowance: Eligibility – GOV.UK (  The areas in Scotland where you can make new claims for Carer Support Payment are increasing soon.

Other help for carers

As a carer in Scotland you have a right to support from your local council that is not linked to claiming Carer’s Allowance. To qualify for this you don’t have to be caring for 35 hours a week, just be someone who is or is intending to provide care for someone who isn’t a child, and where this isn’t part of your job. Care Information Scotland has information about your rights here Support for carers | Care Information Scotland (

The person you care for may be entitled to support from your local council too  through a Care Needs assessment – you can find information here How to get an assessment of your care needs | Care Information Scotland (

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