TIP: If you are an unpaid carer for a severely disabled person or child then you may be entitled to more Universal Credit. It does not matter whether you are working (or would normally be working), or whether you are in receipt of Carers Allowance or not. But always check with a Benefits Adviser before requesting the addition of a Carer Element in your award – the person you are caring for could lose some of their benefits if you get the extra amount. See below for more information.
If you are a carer
Your award can include a Carer Element if you (or your partner) are caring for a severely disabled person for at least 35 hours a week. It doesn’t matter if you are working, or how much you earn.
You won’t get extra money if you’re employed as a carer.
You do not need to be in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. If you do get Carer’s Allowance, your Universal Credit payment will be reduced by £1 for every £1 you receive from Carer’s Allowance but you should have the Carer Element included in the maximum UC amount.
It’s worth telling the person you look after about your claim – they could lose some of their benefits if you get the extra amount.
The person you care for must be getting one of these benefits:
- The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
- The middle or high rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
|Monthly Carer Element|
|If you care for a disabled person||£163.73|
NOTE: The Carer Element and the Limited Capability for Work / Work Related Activities Element cannot be included in a Universal Credit award in respect of the same claimant. You won’t receive both. Instead you will receive the larger amount.
Shelia and Sam live in a rented one bedroom flat. Sam works full time and Sheila cares for her mum who gets Attendance Allowance. They claim Universal Credit and their Maximum UC figure should include a Standard Allowance, a Housing Costs Element and if Shelia spends 35 hours a week or more caring for her mum, it should also include a Carer Element.
Petal is a lone parent. She lives with her two children in a three bedroom rented house. Her eldest, Lucas, gets mid rate care Disability Living Allowance. Petal works part-time, she brings home £180 a week, and she gets Universal Credit to top this up and help pay her rent. She is finding it a struggle to pay the bills and so books an appointment with a Benefits Adviser. They spot that she is not getting the Carer Element in her Universal Credit despite being entitled. So they help her write a note on her journal explaining the hours of care she provides Lucas. Her Universal Credit is re-assessed and her payments increase by £163.73 a month.
IMPORTANT: You do not have to be claiming Carers Allowance to have a Carer Element included in your Universal Credit award.
WARNING: Always check with a Benefits Adviser before requesting the addition of a Carer Element in your award – the person you are caring for could lose some of their benefits if you get the extra amount.