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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

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
So am I being unreasonable to expect the earnings limit to raise with the cost of living?

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

TheHumancatapult Sun 07-Apr-13 14:11:34

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"

TheHumancatapult Sun 07-Apr-13 17:34:23

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

TheHumancatapult Sun 07-Apr-13 17:36:03

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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