Breaks from Caring

ADVICE NI’S HELPLINES REMAIN OPEN

We will not be providing face-to-face advice or training for the foreseeable future. We will contact existing advice clients by phone. Our staff will continue to support our members and can be reached via telephone and email as usual.

We are working hard to move our training, where possible, to digital. For any queries, please contact our training team at [email protected]

We can only provide advice to people living in Northern Ireland. 

Helpline contact details:

Welfare Changes ring 0808 802 0020 or email [email protected]
Tax & Benefits ring 0800 988 2377 or email [email protected]
Business Debt ring 0800 083 8018 or email [email protected]
Debt Action ring 0800 028 1881 or email [email protected]
EU Settlement Scheme ring 0800 138 6545 or email [email protected]
For Historical Institutional Abuse advice and support call 02890 645919 email [email protected]

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Temporary breaks in caring do not lead to loss of Carer's Allowance if you have been caring for someone for a long time.

A carer helps her loved one with shopping.If you have been providing care (35 hours or more) for 22 of the last 26 weeks, you can still get Carer's Allowance (CA).

Therefore, you are entitled to 4 weeks break from caring in any 6 month period.

However, if you have provided 14 weeks of care in the last 26 weeks and the reason care was not provided for 22 weeks is due you or the person you are caring for being in hospital (or a similar institution), you can still get CA.

Therefore, you can have a break of 12 weeks if either of you is in hospital for 8 or more weeks.

It is important to note that if the Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or Disability Living Allowance (care component) of the disabled person stops as a result of a period in hospital, CA will also stop.

What if you need a weekend break?

A week off is counted as a week in which the care provided is less than 35 hours so odd days or weekends away are unlikely to affect your entitlement.

Seek Advice

If ever you are unsure whether or not it is to your advantage to claim Carer's Allowance, please seek the advice of a Benefits Adviser.