Documents to download

Overview of Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a benefit for people caring ‘regularly and substantially’ for a person who receives a qualifying disability benefit. It is an ‘income replacement benefit’, designed to provide financial support to people who give up the chance to work full time in order to provide care. In 2024/25, Carer’s Allowance is worth £81.90 a week.

Background to the epetition and subsequent Government response

The e-petition (640062) called on the Government to “Increase Carer’s Allowance to 35 hours a week at the minimum wage”. It said that being an unpaid carer was a full-time job, and that this should be reflected in the rate of Carer’s Allowance. It added that many unpaid carers had to give up work to provide care, and that being a carer could also have a significant impact on carers wellbeing and lifestyle. The e-petition closed on 28 December 2023, and received 13,914 signatures.

The Government’s response – given on 23 October 2023 – stated that Carer’s Allowance was “a benefit that provides some financial recognition that a carer may not be able to work full-time”, and was part of “a range of support based on individual needs, rather than a wage.” It said the Government fully recognised the “invaluable contribution” and “vital role” of unpaid and family carers.

The Government’s response said that Carer’s Allowance was not intended to be a replacement for a wage nor payment for the services of caring. It was therefore not comparable with either the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage. The principal purpose of Carer’s Allowance was to provide “a measure of financial support and recognition” for people not able to work full-time because of their caring responsibilities.

This debate pack gives information on debates around the level of Carer’s Allowance and the problems people experience undertaking paid work while claiming Carer’s Allowance, and links to further information.

Documents to download

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