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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 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???

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?

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?

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.

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?

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

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.

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

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

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"

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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.

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

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)

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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