Carer’s Allowance: The extras Britons may be able to claim as an unpaid carer

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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Carer’s Allowance is financial support given to those who care for someone for at least 35 hours a week. The current rate of carer’s allowance is £69.70 a week and people cannot be earning more than £132 a week after tax, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and expenses. Those claiming Carer’s Allowance, like other benefits, are entitled to “freebies” and “benefits” which many are not aware of. These benefits range from free travel and cinema trips to discounted shopping.


If a person is caring for someone who has limited mobility, then they might be able to get support through the Motability Scheme.

The Motability Scheme supports people by offering an all-inclusive leasing package for brand new cars from all the major manufacturers.

Anyone who is in receipt of a higher rate mobility allowance can also exchange this to lease a car or mobility scooter.

Under the scheme, the car will also be taxed automatically each year throughout the lease, unless a person chooses to tax it privately.

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Carers can also be eligible to apply for a Blue Budge permit which allows drivers who have passengers with mobility issues to park in more convenient locations in public areas, such as disabled parking bays.

The Blue Badge also lets people park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours.

A Blue Badge costs up to £10 in England, £20 in Scotland and it is free in Wales.

For train travel, carers may also be eligible to receive a Disabled Person’s Railcard.

The railcard entitles the cardholder and their carer/companion one-third off most adult rail fares on the National Rail network.

The railcards cost £20 for a one year card, or £54 for three years.

Britons who care for someone who is disabled could be entitled to free or discounted travel on buses too.

In London and Bristol, anyone with a Disabled or Older Person’s Freedom Pass can also apply for a companion pass if they need help travelling.

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However, this is dependent on the local council and carers should contact their authority to find out their options.

Carers are also encouraged to reach out to museums, leisure centres, theatres and National Trusts sites before they decide to visit.

This is because carers may well be offered either free or discounted entry and therefore it is usually worth asking before buying.

The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) also gives one free ticket to anyone accompanying a disabled cardholder to the cinema.

Local councils also offer shopping and leisure discounts.

However, this benefit is dependent on the authority and carers should contact their local council to find out what they can be offered.

A person who claims Carer’s Allowance could also receive Universal Credit payments, however, the Carer’s Allowance will count as “unearned income” and will be taken off of a person’s Universal Credit payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stated that it is worth claiming the financial support as people will not end up “worse off”.

Carers who claim can get also get an additional amount if they are caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours per week, this is known as the Carer’s Element and is paid only through Universal Credit.

Carer’s Element is worth £168.81 a month.

By claiming Universal Credit, people may also be able to get help with housing payments and their council tax bills.

Just before Christmas, each year carers will get a tax-free Christmas Bonus of £10 with their Carer’s Allowance.

People will only get the Christmas Bonus with their Carer’s Allowance if they don’t get a bonus with another benefit.

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