Thank you for your email regarding Carer's Allowance and the State Pension.
Unfortunately, it’s the case that anyone who receives a State Pension isn’t usually eligible to receive Carer's Allowance. This is because Carer's Allowance is means-tested with the result that once pensioners’ incomes rise above the earnings limit, they no longer receive it. It’s a principle of the social security system that two income-replacement benefits, such as Carer's Allowance and State Pension, can’t be paid together. This is known as the overlapping benefits rule.
However, it’s worth noting that pensioners can get some extra money as a result of their caring role, such as extra Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, or Council Tax Reduction. Furthermore, if pensioners are carer and their basic State Pension is less than Carer's Allowance, it can be topped up to the level of Carer's Allowance. Therefore, even if a carer’s basic State Pension is more than the level of Carer's Allowance, it may still be worth making a claim as it can act as a gateway to other financial support.
More broadly, I’m pleased that the introduction of the Care Act gives carers new rights which put them on the same footing as the people they care for. It sets out that local authorities need to provide comprehensive information and advice about care and support services in their local area. This has allowed work to begin on identifying carers and personalising support for them, ensuring that carers fulfil their potential and stay fit and healthy.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.