Carers Allowance and Childcare costs

Hi there,
I currently claim carers allowance but am considering a new job with more hours which, after pension contributions, will bring me about £18 per week over the carers allowance limit. (It’s still too little to pay tax or NI on though). However if I go for the job I will have to pay childcare costs of around double that for someone to pick my daughter up from school. I have read though that you can offset childcare costs as expenses with appropriate carer (not a relative etc), and therefore bring your earnings back within the limit again.

However I rang the DWP carers allowance helpline a few times and got some conflicting advice from different people - the problem seems to lie in the fact I will work in a school (TA work) and therefore not need the childcare for 13 weeks of the year. So although most of the time the 4-weekly childcare costs will more than bring me under the limit, during the long summer holiday my earnings will be too high for one period only.

In reality I will probably pay the same childcare rate throughout the year to our provider and use the summer payments for extra respite, but as it won’t then be work related childcare they seemed to think it would have to go to a decision maker who may struggle with the case. If you take the amount I will pay in childcare spread over the cost of the year it more than brings me under the yearly earnings limit, it’s just concentrated in term time only?

Does anyone have any advice on how to approach this one with the carers allowance team? I don’t want to take the job and risk losing my carers allowance as I will be working more hours for less money if I do??

Many thanks in advance!

Hi Catherine … seasons greetings … welcome to the canteen.

Child care costs to offset against earnings … to stay within the £ 120 weekly limit and still be able to claim Carers Allowance.


You can also take off up to half of your earnings (after the above deductions if they apply) for amounts you pay to someone to look after either a child under 16 who you or your partner get child benefit for, or the person you are the carer for, when you are at work (so long as you pay someone other than a close relative).

If your earnings after deductions vary, you may still be able to claim CA for the weeks when they are below the £120 limit. > The DWP also has the discretion to average your earnings over a five-week period, or a ‘recognisable cycle of work’ if you have one.

Slightly complex area … especially if Universal Credit has been rolled out on your manor.

UC and child care costs :

Your childcare options with universal credit | Gingerbread

One for the Carers UK Advice Team … contact details within the following link … best by email :

Let us know how you get on … it will help others in the future.

Thank you so much for your quick reply! I have emailed the advice line and will let you all know when I hear!

I suppose my expenses fluctuating are similar in many ways to my earnings fluctuating so maybe I just wouldn’t get CA for the month of August?

Anyway I will let you guys know and thanks again!


Your welcome.

If UC has NOT rolled out on your manor , one potential bullet dodged !