Calling all student carers - help me change the Carers Allowance rules

Hi everyone,

I’m Jo, 38, caring for my mum full time since multiple strokes last year. Despite taking a year off my PhD (and getting no grant), I don’t qualify for Carers Allowance as the rules are based on undergraduates who get their student loans at the start of the year (I get my grant quarterly). I think it’s outrageous that students who take on unpaid caring don’t qualify even if they are not receiving a loan/grant that term. I’m going to take this to my MP (East Sussex) with the support of my local Carers organisation. I’d love to connect with other student carers, especially those who have been turned down for Carers Allowance. I want to amplify others’ voices when I raise this. I’m professionally stroppy, so feel free to tag along for the ride!

Whoever reads this - you’re doing an amazing job, are an amazing person, and whatever you’ve done this week is enough.

Take care,


Thank you so much. Welcome to the forums.

@JoSussex Hi, and welcome. As a carer who has also worked with carers, what you’re raising is one of the areas of frustration that often came up, especially around the number of hours you were allowed to study, but the grant situation is another classic. Anyone would think that the main priority of politicians is to keep carers caring because they save the country so much…

Good luck raising it with your MP - I think most of them are so worried that they won’t have a seat after the next general election they’re busy writing their resumés and sending them out to potential employers…but some will listen. It might be worth checking your MP’s voting history and any comments they may have made around carers and benefits first - preparation for their answers can pay dividends.


Thanks for the lovely welcome @thara_2207 and @Charlesh47

@Charlesh47 Thanks for the tips on approaching my MP - really helpful. We’ll see…!


Try writing a letter. Good luck.

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I wonder if it might be worth contacting the media? The local media in your area might run with it? There have been some articles in the National Press about the plight of Carers so it might be worth a go?