to expect the earnings limit for Carers to be reviewed?

(92 Posts)
CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 22:12:37

The £100 cut-off earnings limit is out-dated & has NEVER risen in line with the minimum wage, other state benefits or inflation.

Carers provide an invaluable service & save the government £119 billion p/a
carersUK

To qualify for Carers allowance you need to be caring for a minimum of 35 hours p/w - that leaves a lot of time for working age people to be able to seek some fulfilment outside of their caring duties, however with the minimum wage on £6.19 that restricts any jobs to 16hours p/w.

I find it a little out-dated angry
but then this is a benefit that was only made available to married women in 1986
shock
So am I being unreasonable to expect the earnings limit to raise with the cost of living?

AudrinaAdare Sun 24-Mar-13 23:19:27

In what world does £153 p.w for the hours equal NMW? YANBU OP. Thanks for starting this because there seems to be a lack of awareness...

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:20:58

It's such a minefield depending on each carer's circs though isn't it tabitha ?

I'm a single parent through no choice of my own & so that £58.45 plus the maximum of £100 employed income is it!

To qualify for Working Tax credits to supplement our household income I need to work 16 hours p/w
or
pay an external carer the suggested wage of £10.11 p/h so I can work ( but I still have to care eves/nights)

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Mar-13 23:23:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LazyMonkeyButler Sun 24-Mar-13 23:31:01

YANBU. I used to be able to claim Carers Allowance for DS1. However, I now work part-time and earn the princely sum of £150 a week (on average).

I don't care for my son any less. He is just at home with DH whilst I am at work!

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 23:31:22

Tabitha But he gets DLA too so I have to tell them for that too. Can't tell one and not the other.

Plus I'm a solicitor. Benefit fraud would cost me my career. And I hope one day that I will be able to work a reasonable amount again.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:33:46

So I wonder Lisa, if you are still considered as a carer under the Census?

This being the way the Government decides how much funding is needed to provide things like Carers Grants - you are very much still a carer in my eyes & like the vast majority of us, working alongside caring...

don't even get me started on the fact that carers who have multiple disabled dependants to look after receive no additional financial support

chapterten Sun 24-Mar-13 23:35:40

I think the maximum earnings limit was increased from ninety-something to £100 quite recently, wasn't it? I agree with the OP that it's still unrealistically low, but it definitely hasn't stayed the same. The £100 is after deductions too - any money you pay out for tax, NI, pensions and also childcare costs.

I'm a single parent and carer too, and as I can't work I get income support as well as my Carer's Allowance - so just wanted to clarify that carers aren't expected to live off just the £58.45. The CA is deducted from my income support though, although there is a premium added on top, so the total of income support + CA is more than the usual income support rates for a lone parent.

And I get housing benefit and council tax benefit, child tax credit, free school meals etc as well. That adds up to far more than the £158 quoted earlier, so it really makes it not worthwhile to for me to work as a carer (not that I could find work that fits around my caring duties anyway).

and i think the fact that you can only claim carers allowance once should be looked at as well, i care for all my children of course, but two of them are autistic and require a hell of a lot more care than the other two (including night time care) yet i can only claim one lot of carers, so in effect, i am being paid 58.45 a week for looking after 2 children for up to 20 hours a day.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 24-Mar-13 23:44:29

I'm shock that you can only claim one set of carers allowance Cherry.

Sheesh.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:45:01

chapterten I've been claiming carer's for over 10 years now & it hasn't changed in that time.

My original OP asked if the earnings limit should increase in-line with RPI/benefit up-ratings annually (or at least be reviewed).

I am not implying that there are not other 'benefits' to receiving Carers, however these vary hugely depending on circumstances.

Whilst I appreciate your situation may suit your circumstances - I worked before my child was diagnosed with a life-long disability, I want to have slightly more flexibility to be able to work in the profession I trained in for slightly more incentive than lisa's extra £30 p/w!

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 24-Mar-13 23:47:02

The maximum earnings level increases every year to make sure nobody claiming can have paid employment for more than 16 hours per week. But just incase you don't know.

They will deduct I think its 50% of any pension payment and childcare costs and a few other work related costs (not travel/parking)from assessable earnings when working out your income.

So if you work 16hpw but pay childcare or into a pension they deduct these from what you earn so if that gets you to below £100 pw you can still be paid.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 24-Mar-13 23:48:37

Op. the amount has changed every year if you like I'm. Ore than happy to give each tax year max weekly earnings limit that CA have used since 1990.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:56:12

Also it's highly unlikely anyone earning upto £100 p/w would be eligible to pay tax/NI - the basic personal tax allowance for 2012/2013 is 810L so only (roughly) £100 would be considered taxable p/annum.

Carers receive a National Insurance credit anyway.

Only half the costs of annual childcare are deducted and it isn't always a child being cared for, even if it was I would have to pay someone very well trained to care for my child ( the suggested £10.11p/h by the government) and for someone in cherrymonsters situation that would not be finacially viable.sad

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:57:50

sock please link

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 00:05:52

The earnings limit was raised from £95 p/w to £100 p/w in 2010 only as far as I am aware ( such a tiny increase I had forgotten)

I found this so maybe there is some hope yet on welfarereformbill

2.3 Key point for carers: whilst it is welcome that Carer’s Allowance has been preserved as a non means-tested benefit, it remains an outdated benefit in need of some reform. Carers UK propose that the Bill should be amended to:

a) Introduce an earnings taper for Carer’s Allowance, to replace the existing £100 earnings limit. A significant minority of claimants, around one in fourteen working age claimants, receives Carer’s Allowance alongside earnings. The current cliff-edge limit means that carers able to juggle work and care lose their entire benefit if they earn over £100.

This provides considerable disincentive to work and traps carers in low paid jobs. For those working in professional occupations, this amounts to just several hours of work a week. The limit acts to prevent carers from keeping in touch with the workplace and skills, or from supplementing low-level benefits. Application of a taper in this way, outside Universal Credit, is already proposed for contributory JSA and ESA and we believe this should be extended to Carer’s Allowance.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:05:59

I can't link because I have it in a client award letter but I'm happy to go looking to see if its online.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:09:46

http://www.carers.org/news/rise-earnings-limit-carer’s-allowance

Heres a archived article from a few years ago showing the change up to £95 pw obviously its now £100 pw

It changes every October when nmw does

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:10:03
IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:13:57

Prior to being £95 pw it was £87

Before it went to 95 it increased in April each year so a Carer had 6 months where they wouldn't qualify but 6 months where they would it was that year they switched the change from April to oct.

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 00:16:46

socks which year did it change from £87 to £95 ? £95 to £100?

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:19:09

There was a 97 in between the 95 and 100 off the top of my head I can't remember but as soon as the baby is back asleep I will go to the office downstairs and look.

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 00:19:45

I think you are missing the point that the earnings limit should be annually reviewed alongside the cost of living/ NMW
not as has happened so far -

Carer’s Allowance is the only state benefit specifically aimed at carers.
However in order to get Carer’s Allowance one of the rules is that your
earnings must be no more than £95 per week. This earnings limit has been
unchanged since October 2007. However from 6th April 2010 the government
is to increase this figure to £100 per week.

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 00:21:57

Sorry, that sounded goady blush thankyou for your input thanks

fiverabbits Mon 25-Mar-13 00:29:58

I think I have earned every penny of my carer's allowance as in 24 years I have had 10 days off when my son went on a disabled child's holiday which I had to pay £400 in 1990 and I had 2 days off but was on call when my daughter took my son away My husband is ill and likely he will have to give up working so I will be his carer as well.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:38:53

No it didnt at all,I know exactly what you mean. And I quite agree a Carer has to be caring for at least 35 hours per week but that leaves lots of hours they should be able to earn more and work more than 16 hours as long as they still have 35 hours available to care

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