⚠️ We are working hard to ensure this guidance is up to date. However, you should bear in mind that things may change as the government respond to the ongoing situation.

Coronavirus: Support for carers

Updated on 7 October 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having far-reaching financial impacts on individuals and businesses across the UK, and indeed across the world.

If you are a carer, you may be worried about the effect of the coronavirus on your Carer’s Allowance. Normally, you need to provide a minimum of 35 hours of care each week to claim Carer’s Allowance. Due to the coronavirus, this may not be possible. Two relaxations in the rules may assist you.

Illustration of carers outside a care home (c) Shutterstock / Norwayblue
(c) Shutterstock / Norwayblue

I am self-isolating and cannot provide care in person. Am I still eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

England and Wales

If you live in England or Wales, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are self-isolating, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are self-isolating, you will continue to receive carer’s allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, with effect from 3 April 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are self-isolating, you will continue to receive carer’s allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

I am ill with the coronavirus and cannot provide care. Am I still eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

England and Wales

If you live in England or Wales, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, with effect from 3 April 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because you are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

The person(s) I provide care for is self-isolating. Am I still eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

England and Wales

If you live in England or Wales, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are self-isolating, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are self-isolating, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, with effect from 3 April 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are self-isolating, you will continue to receive carer’s allowance.

Equally, if you are unable to provide care in person, the rules have been relaxed, so that some forms of non-face to face care can count towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

The person(s) I provide care for is ill with the coronavirus. Am I still eligible for Carer’s Allowance?

England and Wales

If you live in England or Wales, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Northern Ireland

If you live in Northern Ireland, with effect from 30 March 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Scotland

If you live in Scotland, with effect from 3 April 2020, if you are temporarily unable to care for the person in respect of whom the Carer’s Allowance is paid, because they are ill with coronavirus, you will continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

I cannot provide face to face care, what counts towards the 35 hours of care to qualify for Carer’s Allowance?

If you or the person(s) you provide care for are self-isolating, you may still be providing care, but not face to face. A relaxation, in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland means that other forms of care will count towards the 35 hours needed in order to qualify for Carer’s Allowance.

For example, cooking and delivering meals, or providing emotional support through contact on the phone or via online methods, like Skype will count.

I am a carer in Scotland. Am I still eligible for Carer’s Allowance Supplement?

Eligibility for Carer’s Allowance supplement in Scotland depends on being in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on a date specified by the Scottish Government.

Carers in Scotland in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on the qualifying date of 13 April 2020 will receive a payment of Carer’s Allowance supplement in the amount of £230.10 in June 2020.

In addition, the Scottish government confirmed that Social Security Scotland would pay eligible carers an extra £230.10 in June 2020. As with Carer’s Allowance Supplement generally, it is not necessary for carers to take any action – it should have been paid automatically to carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

Where can I find more information and support?

You can find out more about Carer's Allowance and Carer’s Allowance Supplement on our website.

There is guidance for unpaid carers on GOV.UK and Carers UK.

There is guidance for people receiving direct payments on GOV.UK.

There is guidance for unpaid carers in Scotland on the Scottish Government website.

There is guidance on benefits in Northern Ireland on the website NI direct.

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Employees: universal credit and pay Accessing money in childcare schemes
Redundancy explained High Income Child Benefit Charge: What to do if your income falls?
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Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Childcare support and benefits for children
SEISS parental extension Inheritance tax exemption
Self-employment and paying tax Support for Carers
Self employment: Illness or self-isolation Carer’s allowance: can you claim?
Self-employment: work changes Volunteering and job opportunities
Help for businesses in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales Scams: please be vigilant!
Test and Trace Support payment Dealing with HMRC during the coronavirus outbreak

Tax penalties: coronavirus ‘relaxations’

Coronavirus guidance home page

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