Carers make a considerable contribution to the health and social care of sick or disabled people, reducing the strain on health and social care systems. This has been recognised through support mechanisms, including (in the UK) a payment for caring (Carer's Allowance – CA). This article draws upon data from a study of carers receiving CA. Utilising a citizenship perspective, it examines respondents’ perspectives on their role in the UK and shows how CA provides not only financial support but also contributes to normative conceptualisations of citizenship. The data highlight the primacy of paid work in UK citizenship, as well as the stigma associated with receiving welfare benefits. The article concludes by claiming that changes to the UK benefit system need to take into account a ‘recognition’ aspect, reformulating what is considered a worthwhile contribution to society.