Came across this gem of a historical report in my travels on the 21 Hour Rule thread.

Given what it covered , and who took part , worth recording some 9 years on.

ESSENTIAL reading for any reader wanting to see what was discussed back then , and , after 9 YEARS , just how many of those REAL issues have been addressed , both by Government , and by our own supporting organisations.

For them , it does not make good reading from our viewpoint in 2017.

Personalities change but not the Issues !!!

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/c ... /48506.htm

21 Hour Rule element under that separate thread.

A snippett for all those readers of state retirement age not able to claim CA :

Carer's Allowance - overlapping entitlements

146. The DWP's view is that Carer's Allowance is not a 'carer's wage' or a 'reward for caring':

"Rather, it is one of a number of income-maintenance benefits, including State Pension, Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Widows and Bereavement Benefits and Maternity Allowance, for those unable to fully participate in the labour market. State Pension, for example, replaces income in retirement. Carer's Allowance replaces income where the carer is retired or has given up the opportunity to engage in full-time work in order to care for a severely disabled person. In both cases the need is the same even though the person qualifies for two different benefits. Hence the overlapping benefit rule operates to prevent both benefits being paid in full at the same time."[134]


IMPACT OF OVERLAPPING ENTITLEMENTS ON CARER'S ALLOWANCE

149. There is no age limit for claiming Carer's Allowance but because it 'overlaps' with the State Pension it is not paid to a person who receives £50.55 or more State Pension. The numbers of customers who were awarded CA and were over State Pension age are:[137]

2004/05 : 71,737

2005/06 : 67,313

2006/07 : 66,384

2007/08 : 63,969

150. Carerwatch and Age Concern, among others, state that carers who have previously been entitled to Carer's Allowance and find that it is 'removed' when they reach State Pension age can experience distress and anger; this can happen after decades of caring for a sick or disabled relative has prevented them from making pension provisions that would ensure that they did not experience an impoverished old age.[138] The National Family Care Network stressed that "People are often still providing regular and substantial care well into their 90s and are not able to 'retire'."[139]

151. People may receive additional payments within the income-related benefits system but only if they are entitled to Carer's Allowance. For many older people this means going through the process of claiming Carer's Allowance, even though it cannot be paid, in order to then apply for additional support through means-tested benefits. Mr Vaux, representing ADASS and LGA, said: "At the moment it is an illogical system where we are having to put people through a claiming process for a benefit that we know in advance they are going to be refused; I cannot think of any other part of the benefits system where you have to go through a completely pointless exercise to establish the fact that you are not entitled to a benefit but you have underlying entitlement to a benefit."[140] Neil Bateman added "not surprisingly, many carers and their advisers find this concept and the process involved totally perplexing. It is quite Kafkaesque."[141]

152. Ms Pearlman of CAB said: "We know that staff in the Carer's Allowance Unit, like our own organisations, spend an awful lot of time explaining the system to people." Not only does this complexity have a very significant administrative cost, but also, as Mr Vaux stated: "You also lose people on the journey. […] we have to go back to them, say 'Oh, you have been turned down? Good, now we can apply for Pension Credit because you get the Carer Premium' or 'Have you notified the council tax benefit section?'"[142]

153. The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, acknowledged the pattern: "I appreciate that when you say to somebody, 'You are entitled to something but you're not going to get it,' it can cause some confusion. We are working to try to improve that message, particularly working with organisations that have front-facing involvement with individuals."[143]

154. Age Concern has made proposals for the systems to be streamlined so that people could claim Pension Credit and Carer's Allowance through one telephone call; or alternatively they have advocated changes to Pension Credit legislation to enable the carer addition to be paid to people fulfilling certain caring criteria. So far the DWP has not decided to take this forward. Furthermore, the DWP are piloting a scheme whereby the local Pension Service will complete applications for both Pension Credit and Carer's Allowance and provide decisions straightaway.[144] Ms West of Age Concern said: "I think that is positive, we hope the pilot works and that it will be extended but we would also like to see all people who really need to claim benefits get that holistic service."[145]


Needless to say , words / words / words ..... and yet more words .... and a few graphs for added flavour.

Action ?

Remember ..... this was 9 year ago !

One advantage of the Internet .... one has to bury the evidence really deep ?

Judge for yourselves .... the only losers here are us , the carers !!!.