Learn more about how to claim carers allowance and what financial support is available for young carers 

A young carer named Abi

Caring for someone with a disability or illness is something that makes a difference to your everyday life. 

If you’re a young carer it can be tough to do all this while keeping up with your school work or finding free time for yourself. Worrying about a loved one and how you’re going to care for them ­– as well as how your caring duties are going to affect your own future – can put a real strain on both your physical and mental health. And when it comes to managing money things can get even tougher. 

What financial help can I get?

After you leave school, whether you decide to continue in education or go into employment, you are still entitled to an assessment of your needs that should consider the impacts of your caring responsibilities or a ‘transition’ assessment to specifically discuss your options for the future and how you can be supported to meet your goals.  

Bursary Fund:

If you are interested in continuing in education and need some financial support you may be eligible to apply for a 16 to 19 Bursary Fund to help with some studying costs, such as equipment and travel expenses. The bursary is paid directly by the school, college or training provider. They will decide how much is paid and when you will receive the payment. You should contact your school or college for support to make an application.

‘I’ve been accepted into five universities, so I’m going off next year to do media practice. I’m so proud I’ve got that far.’ – Abi  

Carers Allowance:

If you are in part time education or employment when you turn 16 and are also still taking on a high level of care, you might be entitled to some financial support through a ‘Carers Allowance’, which is a grant that gives you £66.15 a week (as of 2019-20) to help you with your caring duties. 

You can claim Carers Allowance if you meet all three of the following criteria:

  • you’re over 16
  • you spend over 35 hours a week caring for someone who is accessing a disability living support benefit (such as Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Armed Forces Independence Payments or Attendance Allowance)
  • you are not in full time education.

However, claiming Carers Allowance may affect other benefits that you or the person you care for receives, which could result in a reduction of other financial benefits. 

Always seek advice first to ensure this is the best decision for you. To find out more visit The Goverment website or you can find more financial and benefit information on the Citizen Advice Bureau website.

Carer Premium:

The ‘Carer Premium’ is a means-tested (based on your income) extra payment of up to £36.85 a week (as of 2019-20) that can sometimes be included in  the calculation of benefits you might receive  on top of  Carers Allowance if you are eligible.

If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, or Universal Credit you should contact the people who award you these (their details will be on letters they send you) and let them know you’ve been awarded Carer’s Allowance, so they can add the Carer Premium to your payment.

Further advice and support

For more advice and resources to support your education, well-being and health visit our young carers website.