Carer benefits

Older carers and benefits

Carer's Allowance and State Retirement Pension
Whilst there is no upper age limit for claiming Carer's Allowance, payment of Carer's Allowance usually stops when you reach retirement age.

This is because the rules say you cannot get your State Retirement Pension and Carer's Allowance paid to you at the same time if your State Retirement Pension is worth more. However, if your State Retirement Pension is worth less than the amount of Carer's Allowance paid, you will be paid an amount of Carer's Allowance to make up the difference.

Deferring your pension
Although you could ask to carry on being paid Carer's Allowance instead of getting your State Retirement Pension straight away (ie you could defer your pension) you will not build up any extra pension during that time. Seek further advice from Carers UK before making any decisions.

Carer's Allowance with Pension Credit and other means-tested benefits
As well as claiming Carers Allowance and your State Retirement Pension you should also check if you are entitled to any means-tested benefits. For older carers the key means-tested benefits are:

  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Means-tested benefits take into account how much income and savings you (and your partner, if you have one) have.

Even if you do not receive Carer's Allowance, because you are being paid a State Retirement Pension worth more than Carer's Allowance (see above), you will have what is known as an underlying entitlement to Carer's Allowance.

Being paid Carer's Allowance, or having an underlying entitlement, means that an extra amount of money - called the carer premium or addition - will be included in the calculation for any means-tested benefits which you receive.

Carers UK provides good information on how being a carer or receiving Carer's Allowance may increase your means-tested benefit entitlement.

Other information and advice
Sutton Carers Centre provides information, advice and support services for carers, including in relation to benefits and other financial issues. Find out more about the support the Carers Centre can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8296 5611,

Sutton Citizens Advice Bureaux provides information and advice around finances (including benefits, debt and other financial matters). Find out more about the support the Sutton CABx can offer you by getting in touch: 020 8405 3552, contact form.

Carers UK has advice on all aspects of money, benefits and managing your finances.