DWP announces important change to Carer's Allowance claimants

The Department of Labor and Pensions (DWP) announced an important update affecting those entitled to care allowance.

In March last year, the government department relaxed rules on care interruptions and recognizing remote emotional support due to the pandemic – this included providing care by phone, text message and email, or video call.

The restrictions have now been lifted and DWP has announced that the easements for care allowance have now ended and will no longer apply from August 31, 2021 Daily record reports.

Here’s everything you need to know about the changes.

What are the easements of the care allowance?

In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the DWP introduced two temporary easements of care allowance intended to “help unpaid carers through the current emergency”.

The two new easements meant:

  • Caregivers could continue to apply for care allowance if they had a temporary break in care because they or the person they cared for contracted the coronavirus or if they had to isolate themselves because of it
  • Providing emotional support to a disabled person would count towards the 35 hours per week care allowance threshold

Am I entitled to care allowance?

You may be entitled to Dependency if you, the person you are caring for and the type of care you are taking meet certain criteria.

The person you are looking after must already receive one of these benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – component of daily living

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – the medium or highest rate of care

  • Care allowance

  • Long-term care allowance equal to or above the normal maximum rate with disability pension

  • Long-term care allowance at the basic rate (full day) with a war disability pension

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

If someone else is caring for the same person as you, only one of you can apply for the care allowance.

The kind of care you offer

You must spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone.

This can include:

  • help with washing and cooking

  • With the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment

  • Help with household chores such as managing bills and shopping

If you or the person you care for is affected by the coronavirus, you can still claim care allowance if you provide care remotely, including emotional support over the phone or online.


The guidelines for GOV.UK state that the following must apply:

  • You are 16 or older

  • You spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone

  • You have been in Scotland for at least two of the past three years (this does not apply if you are a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)

  • You are not in full-time education

  • You don’t study 21 hours a week or more

  • They are not subject to immigration controls

  • You can earn a maximum of £ 128 per week after taxes, social security and expenses

How do I apply for care allowance?

You can go online at the GOV.UK website here or call the Carer’s Allowance Unit for an application form on 0800 731 0297.

Before applying, make sure you have:

  • National insurance number (if you have a partner, you will also need their partner)

  • Bank or building society data

  • Employment dates and current payroll when you work

  • P45, if you recently finished work

  • Course details if you are studying

  • Information on any expenses, for example pension contributions or costs for looking after your children or the disabled person during working hours

GOV.UK guide indicates that you also need information about the person you are caring for.

You need your:

  • Date of birth and address

  • National insurance number if you are 16 or older

  • Reference to housing allowance for the disabled if they are under 16 years of age

Further help and advice on care allowance

Further help and advice can be obtained from:

Learn more about applying for care allowance on the Gov.uk website here.

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