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?

fridayfreedom Sun 24-Mar-13 22:15:43

No yanbu. It makes life as a carer even more difficult!

Altinkum Sun 24-Mar-13 22:19:08

You get paid NMW, for being a carer?

TabithaMcKitten Sun 24-Mar-13 22:20:31

You are absolutely right. The amount of carer's allowance is also ridiculously low, especially when you consider the majority of carers are spending almost all of their time fulfilling their caring duties and so this is their only income.

TabithaMcKitten Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:09

You don't get paid NMW for being a carer, you get paid £58.45 a week.

extremepie Sun 24-Mar-13 22:21:44

Yanbu at all!

As you already pointed out, carers save the government an awful lot of money and yet they receive less p/w than people on jobseekers.

It seems that if you care for a loved one you are put in an unfortunate position, if you work full time, which would be difficult enough if you are caring for someone 35hrs a week, you lose your carer's allowance, if you only work 16hrs a week you can't earn enough to live on even with the carer's allowance sad

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 24-Mar-13 22:24:17

Yanbu and they should stop deducting it from other benefits.

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 22:25:01

What?

You want LESS people to be able to claim Carers Allowance?

I claim it and I work (incidentally I was told that, regardless of earnings you are only allowed to "work" 12 hours per week, but I appreciate that may not be right).

I often can't work because my DS spends a lot of time in hospital, but I don't get Carers Allowance then because the Government says I'm not caring for him but that's a-whole-mother thread.

Your name sounds like you are a Carer. Being a Carer is incredibly important to am society. Why do you want to LIMIT the people doing it? I couldn't cope financially without Carers Allowance.

YABU.

No Altinkum - carers have to be providing care for a minimum of 35 hours a week.... For which they receive £58 and some pence.

Carers are allowed to work as well but are only allowed to earn a max of £100 a week - the OP was making the point that in a secondary nmw job, paying the £6.19 an hour, a carer could only work a max of 16 hours.

Resulting in maximum income (if a 16 hr min wage job can be found) of £158 a week for 51 hours ago plus a week. (35 minimum caring plus 16 working).

Which is utterly shit and we'll below nmw.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 22:28:18

No Altinkum carers in fact receive a maximum of £1.67 p/h to care for someone.
I was referring to the fact if on a minimum wage a carer could work a maximum of 16hrs p/w & still be entitled to carers allowance, once you earn over £100 p/w from paid employment you lose your whole entitlement.

I am qualified in my profession as well as being a carer & find this severely restricts the jobs I can apply for/ employers willing to employ me.
However I find employment really helps me to cope day to day with the repetition & responsibility of being a carer.

*well - and no idea why stupid phone added the word 'ago'.

Why is auto correct always wrong?!

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 22:36:14

Sorry. I'm confused. Do you mean that the earnings limit should be lowered rather than raised?

VinegarDrinker Sun 24-Mar-13 22:36:54

YANBU

This archaic rule affects my Mum. It is truly a case of people being worse off working in many situations, which is ridiculous.
The amount paid is also stupidly low.

I think the poster who thinks this will reduce the number of people who can claim CA has got the wrong end of the stick.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 24-Mar-13 22:37:10

YANBU at all. The government gets caring on the cheap.

My DH has MS and one day it will be me being paid buttons for full time care.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 22:37:36

trazzletoes You want LESS people to be able to claim Carers Allowance?

That is the opposite of my post confused

Thankyou coolaschmoola that is my point, Carers should have more options of working whilst caring, it can be a thankless task as it is - working enhances some Carers ability to continue to care.

VinegarDrinker Sun 24-Mar-13 22:38:24

No Trazzle OP says the earnings limit should be raised ie people earning over £100 pw but still caring for >35 hrs pw should qualify.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 22:39:31

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

Please not the use of the word 'risen' in my OP, you may read it as raised if you prefer.

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 22:43:22

'please note' not 'not'

fiverabbits Sun 24-Mar-13 22:45:20

I get carer's allowance because I look after my disabled son aged 32 years old. BUT as soon as I get my state pension in May I will not get carer's allowance anymore but I will still do all the caring for my son until he dies or I do, that's caring on the cheap.

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 22:54:01

Ahhhhh I get it now! Sorry YANBU (and I'm dense...)

CarerClaire Sun 24-Mar-13 23:01:47

That's ok trazzle
I may NBU but what can be done about it?
five I will also be in your position one day or I could 'allow' the LA to place my child in assisted living - at their cost confused

TabithaMcKitten Sun 24-Mar-13 23:13:41

It shouldn't be a taxable benefit either.

I'm 'lucky' in that it is my son I am a carer for and that my husband also works, so our situatuon isn't quite as precarious as others. If my husband was ill and I became his carer, that £58.45 a week would be our income :-/

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 23:13:54

What can one do about anything like this? Make a fuss. Speak to your MP etc etc.

I think it's bloody unfair that I don't get carers allowance when DS is in hospital. The government says the nurses are caring for him. The nurses say he can't be left without a parent/carer here with him (he's 3). I can't work while he is here but I can't get financial support from the government either.

We need to speak up and maybe some day someone will listen.

Trazzletoes Sun 24-Mar-13 23:15:05

Ah yes. Taxable benefit. So I now have the "pleasure" of filling in a tax return as well.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

TabithaMcKitten Sun 24-Mar-13 23:15:36

Trazzletoes, I think you probably shouldn't tell them that he is in :-)

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

zebrafinch Mon 25-Mar-13 00:52:40

And whilst we are about it, I would like to see a six month run on for Carers Allowance for Carers of working age after the person being cared for has died. if I was in work and made redundant I would be eligible for 6 months contribution based JSA whilst I was seeking work. Why is it assumed that I could quickly find employment after years of caring, worn out physically and grief stricken?????

I think the £100 earnings limit may have some relation to the payment of national insurance contributions??? If we earned more than £100 a week we would be paying NI contribution which would entitle us to more than the Carers NI credited one. Just imagine it we could we be entitled to statutory sick pay when we became ill instead of our Carers Allowance being stopped !!! Also we could then be entitled to a contribution based 6 months Carers run on when caring ceased.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 00:54:10

I meant didn't sound goady

zebrafinch Mon 25-Mar-13 01:12:15

Just checked on directgov. : to get statutory sick pay you need to be earning £107 a week. To pay class 1 national insurance contributions and claim the related benefits you need to earn £146 a week. Maybe the rationale to keeping Carers earnings low is to prevent the payment of Class 1 N I contributions? The NI contributions credited with Carers Allowance just go towards your state pension and not any other benefits.

VinegarDrinker Mon 25-Mar-13 06:54:01

It sounds as though my Mum would definitely be better off not working. She gets about the max allowed, plus CA, plus a small amount of CTC which will disappear soon as my brother is 19. No Income Support, no Housing Benefit, no free school meals. She gets a bit of maintenance from my Dad but that is it.

Why have a limit on earnings at all? At the very least it should be increased to a level that it's possible to live off.

lougle Mon 25-Mar-13 07:20:20

Benefit stoppage for children in hospital is a massive issue, trazzle. My SIL has a dd with cancer. She does everything for her dd in hospital. In the last month she had 6 days in for chemo, then overnight for platelets/blood, then developed shingles, so in for 4 days with IV abx, more blood/platelets, then 6.days off before the next round of chemo.

Once she hits 85 days in hospital, she loses DLA. Chemo cycles are every 3 weeks, so the 29 day linkage rule kicks in!

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 08:03:45

Lougle that must make things so much more complicated for your SIL.
At a time when her caring responsibilities are being stretched to the maximum sad
Hospitals often rely on the main carer when children are in hospital to have a full understanding of their complex needs - that is not getting a break from the caring responsibilities.
vinegar Why have a limit on earnings at all? At the very least it should be increased to a level that it's possible to live off.
A taper would be welcome to allow more flexibility for those that want to work

Trazzletoes Mon 25-Mar-13 09:01:26

lougle my DS has cancer too.

I have never heard of a 20-something day linkage though - what's that?

My DS has been in hospital now for nearly 7 weeks and I have no idea when he will be out (this is already after various chemo sessions and an operation) and I have been with him for almost every weekday. I'm extremely lucky to have a very understanding employer but I am still caring for him!!! I can understand that if he was 90, him being in hospital would be a break for me (I guess...) but he's not. He AND the medical staff need me to be here! I still do his medicines, his physiotherapy, I carry him around if he ever gets out of bed. I am up with him several times in the night... It is NO different to caring for him at home except that we can't leave this room.

lougle Mon 25-Mar-13 11:00:54

Trazzle this leaflet explains it.

"If your child gets Disability Living Allowance and is under 16, it will usually stop after they have been in hospital for more than 12 weeks. If your child goes into or comes out of hospital, you must tell the Disability and Carers Service straight away"

The trouble is, that they link the periods of time spent in hospital if there are less than 29 days between them. For example:

Child A: Admitted for surgery 01/04/2013, in for 3 days. 'Count' of 3 would be recorded until 03/05/13, when it would 'reset' to 0. If he was then readmitted on 10/05/2013, in for 13 days, his 'count' would be 13 until 21/06/2013, when it reset to 0.

Child B is admitted for the same surgery, on the same day. So, he gets his '3' count until 03/05/13 when it would reset to 0. Unfortunately, he has an infection so is readmitted on 01/05/13, just 27 days after his last day in hospital. He stays 13 days, but his 'count' is added to the previous count taking his total day count to 16.

Now, that's no big deal, unless you have a child with a chronic condition with a short treatment cycle (ie. cancer).

Take a 6 days on, 2 weeks off, cycle:

01/04/13-07/04/13: Chemo
07/04/13-21/04/13: Off chemo (but still popping in for bloods, infections blah blah)
22/04/13-28/04/13: Chemo

Those 6 days are added to the previous 6 days and make 12 days.

3 days later, low platelets, whatever - overnight in hospital

13 days

2 days after that - fever while neutropenic - 48 hrs ivabx

15 days

9 days later - 6 day chemo

21 days...

Very soon you can ramp up 85 days in hospital, because they've linked the attendances due to a rule that there has to be a break of 29 days to count as 'separate' attendances.

lougle Mon 25-Mar-13 11:11:31

Oh, and trazzle, I forgot to say - I follow your story, I lurk, but I check every day. I'm sorry that you are having such a scary time. Joe's very lucky to have you in his corner.

StickyFloor Mon 25-Mar-13 11:34:42

I gave up my career and £60k salary to become dd's carer, so CA was very welcome even though it was barely a drop in the ocean to what we lost.

Once she started school I managed to pick up some p-t work from home for £4000pa, and was then offered another contract on top of that for £2000pa. I had to turn the second piece of work down because I would have lost CA and been worse off despite working more.

I now feel totally trapped. My old career is destroyed and I can't slowly build up individual pieces of contract work because of the cliff edge CA rules.

I wrote to IDS and he didn't even bother to reply. Bastard.

bochead Mon 25-Mar-13 12:05:12

Sticky - my situation is very similar except I haven't managed to find that elusive part time position that meets the CA rules (simply the nature of my old career).

I had no idea the hospital rules were that stupid, even cruel. So at a time when a family is beside themselves with worry the ballifs come knocking re the mortgage etc - fantastic.

It would be wonderful if carers didn't get caught in the benefits trap quite so effectively, if only because the resulting huge gaps on the CV is never a good thing.

I claim CA for my son, however I am a self employed childminder and dont need childcare(well I do but cant get anyone to look after him)
I earn over the £100 a week and they say Im still entitled. Not complaining! but it doesnt seem fair.

bochead Mon 25-Mar-13 12:42:19

I thought about childminding, but don't have a suitable home sad. Shame, as all those courses I've attended to help DS would be of benefit.

ouryve Mon 25-Mar-13 12:46:55

YANBU, but knowing this lot, they'll move it the other way.

ouryve Mon 25-Mar-13 12:55:19

Sock - it's risen once since I started claiming, 4 or 5 years ago. ONCE.

ouryve Mon 25-Mar-13 12:57:24

>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

So who does the caring when the carer is at work?

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 13:02:41

raspberry I wonder how that works?

I must say, out of all the Government/LA benefit departments CA & DLA are the most fantastic to have dealings with. 'Real' benefit processors answer the phones directly shock (no call centres) & they are always very helpful when I ask for my annual taxable amount ( though why we aren't sent a P60 like other taxable benefits I don't understand)

starfishmummy Mon 25-Mar-13 13:03:36

The earnings limit has risen - when I first went back to work it was iirc £80.

It still should rise though as should cares allowance.

CarerClaire Mon 25-Mar-13 13:07:42

ouryve My child is at a SEN school - I'm 'available' for work 9am - 3pm, though I also have access to a specialist after-school club.

I'm not suggesting Carers should work Full-time & receive extra help as many of us have caring responsibilities over-night so we'd find it hard to function, just for some flexibility to work in our chosen field & remain in work as much as possible.

chapterten Mon 25-Mar-13 13:34:42

Ah yes, I remember it rose from £97 to £100 a few years ago. The CA was £55 something as well when I first claimed, so it has gone up a bit. I've only been claiming it for a few years, so I just assumed it regularly increased every year or so.

I have to admit I haven't paid that much attention to the earnings details though, simply because I can't imagine having time to work. Even though DS is in SN school, I'm definitely not available 9am-3pm. I often have to take him out of school for appointments, or have to use that time to do errands/chores/admin that I can't get done once he's at home. I also attend regular training sessions/parent support groups which I really need (lots of sessions recently on things like benefit changes), or just read up on his condition to help meet his caring needs.

What does annoy me is the fact that you can't be a f/t student whilst claiming CA. I do some p/t study now, and I could do f/t modules and still meet my caring requirements, but I can't risk losing my CA as it's the passport benefit to my IS/HB/CTB etc.

ouryve Mon 25-Mar-13 13:48:21

Both of my boys are at school, too, though with no after school clubs, no holiday care and no care on days like today, when one of them has diarrhoea so is off school. Allowing travelling time, I'm available for work 24 hours a week (assuming I could work 9:40-2:20 to allow for the buses) , 39 weeks a year, minus days off for sick kids, school refusals and appointments.

Sock seemed to be under the impression that the need to be available to care for 35 hours minimum, meant that carers were free to work all the rest of the week, forgetting that carers quite often have caring commitments that extend way beyond that 35 hours.

IneedAsockamnesty Mon 25-Mar-13 16:28:27

I didnt forget anything of the sort. The gov requires you to be caring for at least 35 hours per week,

I'm not saying you should HAVE to work any hours above your caring work just that if you want to it should not mean you lose your CA should your particular circumstances enable you to do so if you wish to.

I personally think the earnings limit is wank because it restricts carers to low paid work should they wish to do paid work.

If they are going to restrict you from working anymore than 16 hours then they should be open and honest and say you have to be a Carer for 100pw but they won't because quite rightly there would be an uproar.so they do they same thing just in a arse about face way the end result is it screws over carers.

I am a Carer I have 5 disabled children who require round the clock care but as far as the gov's concerned I'm not one because I earn more than £100pw that's wrong. Just the same as its wrong to any other Carer who can't get any additional support should they go above that earnings level or the thousands of carers who no one knows exist because they work 17 hours pw.

I personally wouldn't claim anything because I don't have to but there are shit loads of people whose only option is to either drop an hours employment or salary just to get the recognition they deserve.

I know how much the carers I employ to care in my absence cost and how much residential costs a week everyone able to claim CA or caring but not claiming is saving the tax payer a bloody fortune you shouldn't have to jump through hoops and practically beg for the pittance they begrudgingly give you.

Owllady Mon 25-Mar-13 17:50:15

I would find it more helpful if the local authority fulfilled their obligations to support me as a carer to work

If i received the right level of care in order for it to be financially viable to work and with appropriate respite, I wouldn't even need to claim carers allowance at all. The reluctance and denial of my working position caused me to give up my job completely in order to care.

I also think though the carers allowance rate is pitifully low considering how much foster carers would be paid to do the same job (not that I have anything at all against foster carers)

Owllady Mon 25-Mar-13 17:52:33

have just scrolled back a bit

arf at the caring only being 35 hours per week! I had four hours sleep last night and haven't been able to stop all day either. Unfortunately I am ageing at a rate of nots

lurkerspeaks Mon 25-Mar-13 20:30:39

You need to be careful about the hospital admissions stuff. My Mum was disabled and got DLA. My Dad got carers allowance.

Her health deteriorated dramatically towards the end of last summer and she was admitted. We were all really stressed as her deterioration was precipitate and life threatening. It took my Dad 6 weeks to get around to notifing the carers allowance unit of her admission. He apologised in his letter for the delay, explained why it had occurred and stated that he was happy to repay any overpayment made to him. Fortunately he did this by recorded delivery letter so we know they received it.

He heard nothing more for 4 months. Then a week after my Mother's death he received a letter stating "it has come to our attention that you failed to inform us in a timely manner of your late wives admission to hospital on X date..... If you do not reply to this letter within 7 days we will apply a a £50 civil penalty notice".

He was distraught when he was already distraught. He has still not received a proper apology and neither he, nor my brother or I can find a definition anywhere on their website stating what timescales apply for notifications. Ironically the previous summer he had surgery and was unable to care for my Mother to the extent that he usually did. He wrote to notify them and was berated that he should only provide "relevant information" and that his claim would not be affected. He was left feeling that he couldn't win!

By contrast other government agencies we have had contact with could not have been more helpful or sympathetic.

zebrafinch Mon 25-Mar-13 20:39:14

I had to give up a very well paid job which I loved because of chronic sleep deprivation. After a number of years I now have NHS paid Carers looking after my son at night. I have tried working but after arriving home I did not have time even to take my jacket off before I did another 6 hours hands on work Caring during the evenings. At weekends I still had Caring duties. I could have coped better with work if there were registered childminders who could come to my home and administer oxygen drugs etc in an emergency but I hit a brick wall on this. Also school holidays were an absolute nightmare trying to arrange cover and any days off were spent attending appointments oh and not forgetting the emergency admissions to hospital. My conclusion after attending the doctor with raised blood pressure is that working is only possible if my son is in a residential placement, so it seems I have to be content with £58 a week pittance

Bonkerz Mon 25-Mar-13 20:46:41

I am carer for my son. I'm also a childminder but only have one child a day and I charge a lower rate of £3 per hour to compensate the fact that at any point I could be called to DS school or have to take DS for hospital etc. parents are happy I just take mindees along BUT I work 40 hours. Have just spent the last 12 months sending accounts to carers so they can make sure I'm not earning more than £100 a week (after expense I earn about £70!)

zebrafinch Sun 07-Apr-13 13:45:51

My DD is flying the nest and I was thinking of renting out her room under the rent a room scheme. . I was shocked to discover that this will be seen as "earnings" under Carers Allowance. How can it be "earnings"? I am not gainfully employed. If I was not a Carer then renting out a room is not treated as "earnings". I think this is the first step to means testing Carers Allowance which is the direction we are heading

yup i get carers and tehy then take it of my Is oh and for HB and council tax its counted as income so loose out there to

zebrafinch Sun 07-Apr-13 14:29:22

I see what you mean TheHumancatapult
I suppose I am just getting very weary now after all these years . I have tried combining working and Caring and it was incredibly stressful affecting my health. . MY DS will soon be an adult. I am considering a full time residential place for DS and sodding the pittance of Carers Allowance

2old2beamum Sun 07-Apr-13 16:48:11

Must be honest have not read all posts and agree with poster but do you know you cannot claim carers allowance if you have a pension or widows allowance

PeneloPeePitstop Sun 07-Apr-13 16:56:20

Thank you OP. From the thread title I thought it was the 'shouldn't be paid for looking after your kids' mob.

Which incidentally there are rumbles that the government may try to implement that.

Was heartened to open the thread smile

zebrafinch Sun 07-Apr-13 16:58:48

I did not know about widows allowance!
I think you can still claim Carers Allowance if you are only on an occupational pension but not if you get the state pension. For most people who are getting Carers Allowance for 35 hours caring for a child who has been disabled from birth, an occupational pension having given up their jobs during their best working years will be a joke. Where the child is very severely disabled the marriage / partenership often breaks down so many women will be facing life on the state pension when they eventually "retire"

Yup I'm on state pension and when Pip comes in well ill no longer be able claim carers even though I still have to do the care

That's I will be not that I am (my marriage was one of those that collapsed under the strain

Crawling Sun 07-Apr-13 17:38:32

YANBU I worked it out and the amount of hours I do I get carers allowance at a rate of 48p a hour. We could do with a sliding scale as well so those who pull 100+ hours caring get more benefit.

marjproops Sun 07-Apr-13 17:54:30

YANBU-me too, fulltime carer for lifelong disabled .

DCS 12 atm and we're struggling all the time.

always a constant fight isnt it?

and while im alive ill alwayts be her carer.

so, support for ALL carers. thanks

TabithaMcKitten Sun 07-Apr-13 19:51:16

Just to jump in again, but why isn't CA one of the benefits that entitles people to free prescriptions? The most we can ever earn is approx £160 a week - surely that is a low enough income to qualify?

lougle Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:00

Tabitha, it's because free prescriptions are based on household income, not personal income.

If you have a combined income of less than £15,200 and receive tax credits, then you can get free prescriptions through tax credits.

NettleTea Sun 07-Apr-13 23:20:06

So, if carers allowance gets kept out of universal credit, does that mean as a carer you won't be sent to get full time employment by the job centre? Because obviously if you are working less than 16 hours ( to avoid losing carers allowance, and to actually DO the caring) you will surely be pushed to find a job?

zebrafinch Mon 08-Apr-13 12:14:29

Carers allowance will be outside universal credit and as you will be caring for at least 35 hours a week to qualify then you will not have to attend the job centre and be actively job seeking. You will be fully occupied for those 35 hours and more.
This thread shows how desperate Carers are wanting to increase their incomes, any hours worked in paid employment will be on top of the Caring Duties. You can forget about weekends off to recover, your holidays will be devoted to caring and attending appointments and doing caring duties in hospital. I tried working 21 hours a week, was over the £100 limit and gave up Carers Allowance. I got to the point where I thought I was heading for a stroke and if that happened whilst I was caring for my DS that would have been two of us gone.
The £100 a week limit needs to be raised but if Carers can only earn the NMW this is going to put a big stress on them because of the hours involved They will need to have a partner who will take on some of the Caring duties after 35 hours and give the Carer some time off and also access to specialised child/adult care and an understanding employer . Those Carers who can earn a lot more than the minimum wage will if the £100 limit is raised hopefully will be able to keep a foothold in their previous career
maybe the way round it is to say that every Carer in receipt of the Carers Allowance pittance can work in paid employment for up to 10 hours a week in addition to their caring duties and whatever they earn they can keep?

zebrafinch Mon 08-Apr-13 12:21:05

Apologies I have just realised that those on NMW will then be losing out and their income will be reduced.
may be then say you can earn £100 -or a new increased figure- a week in addition to Carers Allowance or choose to work ten hours a week in paid employment and keep what you earn???

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