Regular and substantial caring responsibilities

Amendments to the rules for assessing ‘regular and substantial caring’ during the COVID-19 outbreak are set out in the Social Security (Coronavirus) (Further Measures) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.371/2020).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Easements applicable to 'regularly and substantially enraged in caring 'rules

Regulation 9 of SI.No.371/2020

Includes provision to enable carers to continue to be treated as regularly and substantially caring for carer’s allowance purposes (also relevant for the carer element of universal credit under Regulation 30 of SI.No.376/2013) if they have a temporary break in caring because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus, or if they have to isolate because of it.

NB - the DWP has also confirmed that emotional support, including when provided remotely, counts towards the 35 hours of care needed to qualify (see Carer’s Allowance from

SR.No.53/2020 includes equivalent provision for Northern Ireland as that made in Great Britain in relation to the rules for ‘regularly and substantially engaged in caring’.

Further explanation of the policy change in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is set out in guidance.

DWP guidance from

Carer’s Allowance eligibility

Provides guidance on easements to carer’s allowance entitlement conditions, that are also relevant to carer element entitlement under universal credit, that enable emotional support to count towards the regular and substantial caring entitlement condition.

We’re not aware of any case law relating to this issue.