21 HOUR RULE : CA : Eligibility / Studying / Developments

Share your petitions or campaigns here.
Interesting ... Carers UK Submission In Advance Of The Carers Strategy 2016 ... Page 21 :

Another recurring issue that Carers UK receives enquiries from carers is in relation to
Carer’s Allowance is around the 21 hour study rule.

This is one of our most common queries for younger people who contact our adviceline, but it also affects adult returners who want to gain new skills or qualifications whose courses are considered “full time”.

Because they are caring, they have no other way of supplementing their income as well as studying, unlike other students, and Carer’s Allowance is a valuable and reliable benefit.

Further, unlike for the disabled people they care for, student support provides no additional support for carers.

Carers UK would recommend abolition of the 21 hour study rule, and in particular for vocational related courses.

“My daughter spends a few hours a day at a day centre. Why wouldn’t the Government want me to use that time to learn new skills or train to try to get a job which I could do along with caring?”


Now , I interpret the above to be a common aim ...

So far , no input from Carers UK , I'll assume that they are watching developments ?

If not , that raises some awkward questions for them to answer .... ?

Strange ... it takes an individual carer to get things moving ....

Pointing out a problem is one thing , easy peasy , dealing with it is another.

Still , par for the course in CarerLand.

If anyone wants anything done , do it yourself !

Diarise forward to await the NUS's response.

Thereafter , quick recap before setting off towards the next target ... House probably in limbo until September ... Carers Day postponed ... new runners and riders to be announced.

Never know , Carers UK might elect to work with us on this ....

Image

Working at NIACE has given me many opportunities to meet young people and hear about what motivates, inspires and challenges them.

Earlier this year I met Amelia, a 19 year old young woman about to complete her first year at university, where she is studying law.
Amelia was bursting with energy and enthusiasm, keen to tell me about her plans for the future, her aspiration to be a top human rights barrister and to become a QC. Amelia was impressive – very eloquent and determined.
I was immediately convinced that nothing would stop her getting that wig and gown and achieving everything that she was so passionate about.

But what surprised me was that I had met Amelia at an event for young adult carers.
I should know by now that there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ young adult carer, or a ‘typical’ young person for that matter.
But Amelia really did break the stereotype of a young adult carer – she’d achieved above average GCSEs and A-levels, made apparently seamless transitions, was living away from home, attending a good university and had high career aspirations.

Amelia’s determination to succeed comes from her family.
When she was 11, Amelia’s mum was diagnosed with MS.
Her condition deteriorated quickly and within a couple of years she needed a high level of care.
Amelia’s older sister Charlotte dropped out of college to become a full time carer for their mum, enabling Amelia to focus on her studies and do well at school and sixth form.
A sense of guilt, and the need to make her sister’s decision a worthwhile one, is what drives Amelia’s ambition.
She needs to succeed – to make her family proud, to pay Charlotte back and to change things for future generations of young adult carers.

Amelia’s story left me with very mixed emotions.
I remain convinced that she’ll achieve her goals and contribute to achieving a fairer society for young adult carers.
But Amelia is the exception.
The shocking reality is that most young adult carers’ experiences mirror Charlotte’s, not Amelia’s.
They are twice as likely to be not in education, employment or training as other young people.
They achieve significantly lower GCSE grades, they often feel isolated and lonely, live in poverty and have little hope for the future.
No surprise then that they are also twice as likely as their peers to experience mental health difficulties.


Not every young adult carer aspires to be a QC – but every young adult carer should have the right to be protected from providing levels of care which impact on their wellbeing and life chances.
Every young adult carer should also have the right and the opportunities to engage in learning, make choices and develop their own aspirations.
Government, policy makers, local authorities and learning providers all have a duty to enable young adult carers to succeed – not put barriers in their way.

Too many young adult carers have been robbed of opportunities to fulfil their ambitions. Isn’t it time we pay them back?


Needless to say , how many older carers will suffer from the same abonimation when seeking to improve their future chances of employment when their caring roles end .......... ???????????????

##########################################################

Costs so far ?

Nil .... just time and effort .... that's all that's needed .... !!!

No professional qualifications needed for that ... as all carers can appreciate !!!

In CarerLand , WE are the professionals !!!
Carers Radio ... just added this Issue to their " List ".

Would help if one arm of Carers UK actually read the forum ???

Too much to ask if they would interview the new NUS president for her views ???

Still LSE in only a couple of miles to the west from hq ...
During recent exchange with Helena , no mention of any contact direct from the NUS , or view from Carers UK as to the validity of this issue.

I will give the NUS a further 7 days before politely asing them for an update.

As it stands , the NUS appear to be our only avenue on this one.
Seems the only logical way forward is to await the House to commence proceedings following the Queens Speech.

Thereafter , await the new runners and riders for the All Party Carers Group , and then contact John Mann , my local mp , again.

Hopefully , something from the NUS in the interim.

Short of that route , anyone else have any practical suggestions ?
A little more , an historical article from the Guardian in 2015 , before the new riders settle down in the House , and I contact the NUS for any news :

https://www.theguardian.com/society/201 ... ung-carers

Yet there are simple adjustments that could make things far easier, according to the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (Niace), which is campaigning for three changes to benefit rules to be made. “These young people give up hours and hours, weeks and weeks of their lives to be carers – making a huge contribution to society and a really significant cost saving, says Nicola Aylward, Niace’s head of learning for young people. “They have the right to a good education and in many cases they’re not getting it.”

The organisation wants carers to be made exempt from the so-called 21-hour rule, which means that if they’re learning for longer than that a week – a requirement of most further education courses – they lose their £62.10 a week carer’s allowance. “Many of these families are living in or on the edge of poverty,” Aylward says. “That £60 can be the factor that pushes them away from learning.”


Despite emailed requests , Carers Radio sort not to include this Issue in their " Wish List " in advance of their General Election.

To date , nothing from Carers UK beyond what was published in 2016 .... action ? Nothing on Hansard to indicate that this Issue has been raised in the House. No mention of a legal challenge anywhere.

Still , remaining a " Charity " does have advantages ... for those seeking a quieter life.

That must be very gratifying to the hundreds of thousands of students / carers who have fallen foul of this illogical barrier ... come September , a few thousand more will decide not to persue further education because of the same barrier.
Not much happening pending contact with the NUS and my mp as soon as the holiday period ( For those outside of CarerLand ) ends in the early autumn.

Trawled through Hansards for anything remotely connected with this " Issue " being raised in the House.

As expected , plenty of platitude type references to student carers but nothing on the 21 Hour Rule.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/search?se ... t%20carers

Carers Trust had a golden opportunity earlier this year during their tour of Scotland but did absolutely nothing .... what else would any carer affected by this " Abonimation " expect from that " Supporting " organisation ?

Like the Travel thread , nothing will happen unless WE take the initiative !

Fast becoming a recurring theme in CarerLand ....
Another couple of weeks and I will remind my local mp of both main Issues ( Travel and 21 Hour Rule ) , seeking names of the condemned who have " Volunteered " for the All Party Carers Group ... direct search reveals nought.

At the same time , I will contact the NUS to see how they are doing ... don't hold your breathe , different animal to the organisation I knew back in the 60's ... a pussycat compared with a tiger ?

Wouldn't surprise me in the least that they'll bottle out in taking this Issue any further ?

Their silence is evidence for me.

Momentum ... need to re-establish !

Please spare us Barbara Keeley ?

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2 ... 001/Carers

Reminded me of the infamous Monty Python Philosophers football match sketch ... spent most of the time debating amongst themselves rather than partipating in the actual match !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Philo ... ball_Match

Where's a modern day Nye Bevan when you need one ?
Copy of email just sent to the NUS's new president.

Actual names blocked out to appease the Reds ... ?

Hi ********* ... I trust that you have now settled in at the
sharp end of the NUS ... a glorified head mistress with
unruly students every which way ?

21 Hour Rule ..... exchanges of emails with one of your
" Minions " ( ********* ***** ) back in April / early May.

An issue that ( 1 ) prevents many prospective students
with caring duties taking on further education and ( 2 )
carers , whose caring days are numbered , seeking further
education to better their future job prospects.

Carers UK forum ... a thread detailing all ( Lack of ) progress
todate :

CUK Form : 21 Hour Rule Thread

What started off as a " Simple " question has morphed into
a more serious one .... given the changes we have all seen
since the abhorrent Rule was first introduced.

An extract from the Select Committee on Works and Pensions
Fourth report , July 2008 :

Carer's Allowance: incentives to work, study and volunteer

21 HOUR STUDY RULE

158. Carer's Allowance is withdrawn if a carer embarks on an educational course that entails more than 21 hours study per week. This rule has been much criticised by a number of organisations, as it creates a barrier to carers wishing to engage in education and training in order to update their skills with a view to entering or re-entering the labour market. A number of submissions called for those on Carer's Allowance to be exempt from this rule.[149]

159. Many carers report that their caring responsibilities necessitate training for a new form of employment. However, many vocational and academic courses only attract funding if the participant studies full time and within a particular timescale. This may be impossible for a carer.[150]

160. At present 16 and 17 year old carers can receive Carer's Allowance, but only if they are not in education for 21 hours or more a week, forcing them to choose between caring and being educated. Ms Redmond of Carers UK said: "The 21-hours study rule really should go. It does not make any sense at all. Why we should penalise people for studying I have no idea at all."[151]

( Been somewhat quiet on this one .... for 9 years ????? )

161. Carerwatch added that many financially-assisted educational courses do not have Carer's Allowance on their list of qualifying benefits for reduced fees, making engaging in education unaffordable. A student in receipt of Income Support, which is paid at a higher rate than Carer's Allowance, will pay less than someone in receipt of Carer's Allowance.[152]

( CarerWatch .... where have I heard that name before ... a kind of DoomWatch for carers ??? )

162. The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, acknowledged that "We need to look at how we dismantle some of the barriers. If we want to encourage people into training and education, to build up skills, to move into the employment market, then we need to look at how some of the elements of our rules perhaps disadvantage people in that respect."[153]

163. Carers currently face a stark choice between engaging in education and training without any financial support or living on benefits. Many carers would be able to undertake education or training in addition to providing in excess of 35 hours of care per week. We recommend that the Department evaluates the effect of lifting the 21 hour study rule for carers on Carer's Allowance to enable carers to engage in education and training as a route into paid employment. We also recommend that the Department evaluates the effect of adding Carer's Allowance to the list of qualifying benefits for reduced education and training fees.


Time to blow the dust off this one ?

Kindest
" Donald Duck "


Ball now firmly back with the NUS ......

Just how many students / carers have had their future prospects shattered by this " Rule " ... since 2008 alone ?
Interesting article from the Learning and Work Institute on young adult carers adding fuel to our Issue :

http://www.learningandwork.org.uk/our-w ... lt-carers/

Image
There are more than 310,000 young adult carers in England and Wales, aged 16-25 who care for parents, siblings and other relations. In doing so, they save the taxpayer around £1bn per year.

These caring responsibilities impact on the wellbeing and life chances of Young Adult Carers. They are twice as likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training), and often experience a range of difficulties and disadvantage, including poverty, isolation, physical and mental health difficulties which have consequences for them throughout their lives. Young Adult Carers deserve better – we want Government to implement three simple changes in their first 100 Days.

100 Day Actions

Young Adult Carers should be formally identified as a ‘vulnerable group’ giving them full entitlement to the 16-19 bursary. Currently they miss out on this vital support that could help them with the additional financial costs of learning and as a result many either don’t take up learning or drop out.

Young Adult Carers should be exempt from the 21 hour rule in the benefit system. Currently, they lose Carer’s Allowance if they participate in learning for longer than this each week. Most Further Education courses require longer participation, leaving Young Adult Carers in a catch-22 position. Given many Young Adult Carers have lost out on several years of education as a result of their caring responsibilities, they deserve greater flexibility to gain the skills they need for successful careers.

Young Adult Carers should be able to access flexible hours Traineeships and Apprenticeships to boost their skills and careers. Currently Skills Funding Agency guidance states that Apprenticeships should be at least 30 hours work per week, except in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances are not defined and no data is collected. Traineeships do not have this limited flexibility. As a result, many Young Adult Carers are locked out of these opportunities to improve their skills and progress their careers.


Another avenue to explore .... if needed.
VERY interesting .... Carers Trust ( Wales ) .... a manifesto :

PAGE 4 .... in pdf. format :

https://carers.org/sites/files/carerstr ... ifesto.pdf

Finances

We ask that the Welsh Government work with Westminster to ensure that Carer’sAllowance is available to those that need it.

In particular, we would ask that the ‘21 hour rule’, which means that those studying 21 hours or more not eligible for Carer’s Allowance, be scrutinised and changed.


( Perhaps SCRAPPED as opposed to CHANGED ... or would that be a little too strong for the Anachronists at the top ? )

So , more support but , as is TOO common in our world , none of the parties involved tend to liaise with one another leaving a fragment response which , quite frankly , deadens the impact of any individual response.

Still , that's life as we know it in CarerLand.

An earlier posting listed all the known players ... most will elect to sit on the bench ... another to be added IF the only way forward is a co-ordinated response .... and that should be real " Fun " for a sole carer ???

The revised field :

NUS ... Contacted by me ( Student angle , carer angle secondary ... not exclusive ! )
Local mp ... Contacted by me
Other mps ... Awaiting on local mp to confirm contact
All Party Carers Group ... Awaiting on news as to being involved
Government ( Education Minister ) ... Unknown but would be involved at some stage
Carers Day in the House ... First goal , awaiting news from local mp
NUS ( Wales ) ... Contact with Welsh Government / Education Minister
Carers UK ( Wales ) ... Involved somewhere with Wales
Welsh Government ... Contacted by NUS ( Wales )
NUS ( Scotland ) ... Campaign with Scottish Government ( 21 Hour Rule unlikely )
Scottish Government ... Contacted by NUS ( Scotland )
Carers Trust ... Putting their nose in Scotland ( NO mention of the 21 Hour Rule ... as can be expected ! )
.... and now Carers Trust ( Wales )
Learning and Work Institute ?
I feel a " Ten Little Indians " coming on .... " And there was one ? " ... me ?

Image

" What about the student and family carers , squire ? "