Carer’s Element of UC without Carer’s Allowance?

Has anyone gone down the path of getting the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit without bothering to claim for Carer’s Allowance?

I’m hoping to get a definitive answer as to whether it automatically puts the claimant in the ‘no work related requirements’ group if they are awarded Carer’s Element (without Carer’s Allowance).

I had a phone call from a Work Coach the other day who was suggesting that I would still have work search commitments on top of my 35+hrs caring unless I also apply for Carer’s Allowance.

I think he’s wrong but I can’t find anything in writing to prove either way.

Why not just claim Carers Allowance?

Hi Chris, welcome to the forum.

I would suggest you contact our helpline with this, they should be able to give you answer. You can contact them on:
0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or email

Best wishes


Hi Jane,
maybe the helpline should be able to give me an answer, but they couldn’t LOL – I phoned yesterday. Nice bloke but with such an esoteric question he couldn’t help.
I’ll maybe copy and paste the question into an email.

Bowlingbun, I like the way you use the word ‘just’ – have you seen the amount of info they demand. Contrast that with updating a UC online account with a tick in the box ‘Do you care for more than 35hrs a week?’- add the date you started and the name, address and DOB of the caree, and you’re done.

What advantage would there be in claiming Carer’s Allowance for someone on Universal Credit? None as far as I can see (if I’m correct and CE puts someone in the ‘No work group’-which is my question).In fact the big disadvantage of CA is that you could never take on any short term work that earned you more than the £128 (or whatever it is) without dropping off the cliff edge of entitlement. CAB were in complete agreement for someone on UC not to apply for Carer’s Allowance.


Thanks for the reply. I don’t have any recent experience of these benefits.

I must say your reply was very interesting.
Although I’ve been involved with family members and others claiming disability benefits, my knowledge of the rest of the system is best described as “very patchy”!
My knowledge of UC is nil!

Are you saying that

  1. If you don’t claim CA you can do some work and still claim UC?
  2. If you do claim CA you can’t do any work and still claim UC?

Have you ever heard of the Disability Alliance Benefits Handbook?
It’s the best ever book on benefits, updated annually. I think it should get an award for plain speaking, as it breaks things down so well.

Do a web search as it can be purchased elsewhere.

You can do some work and still claim Universal Credit – they reduce your benefit by 63p for every £1 you earn – on a graph it’s a straight line taper down. It leaves you with the flexibility of earning different amounts on different weeks and your benefit is adjusted accordingly.

With Carer’s Allowance, it has a max weekly earnings threshold of about £128 – above which the CA abruptly stops.

I’ll try to take a look at that Handbook sometime, but unless someone can tell me if the answer to my question lies within it, that’ll have to wait for another day.

Would you be self employed, or working for someone else?

Does anyone else know if irregular earnings can be averaged out over a period?