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21 HOUR RULE ? CA : Eligibility / Studying / Developments : The Sole Thread ANYWHERE Dealing With This Abomination ! - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

21 HOUR RULE ? CA : Eligibility / Studying / Developments : The Sole Thread ANYWHERE Dealing With This Abomination !

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76 posts
Just a little insurance policy I've sort in case the NUS hq dither.

A copy of my email to the LSE students union , historically the most radical union in the UK.

Slightly different in tone ( After all , Lenin himself would have been rejected at one time as being too right wing ! ) , I'm seeking their support as a possible ally.

Bits already posted have been omitted so it may appear slightly disjointed , broken up for anyone to get the flavour :

Hi ...

Two Issues for you that directly affect all students :

Carers : Concessionary Travel Scheme
Students / Carers : Carers Allowance : 21 Hour Rule

As a point of reference , two threads on both Issues
are on the Carers UK forum , direct links follow :


While the first may be one step removed , the second
will be of immediate concern.

Quite detailed , recommend a pot of tea or coffee , and NO
wacky baccy before exploring. Clear heads are needed !

21 Hour rule ? A brief taster , an extract from my email to
Ricky at NUS hq , now my main conduit with your " Central
Committee " ... provided he is not a victim in the next purge ?

Card carrying NUS students who also care.

If they are studying for more than 21 hours per week , Carers
Allowance cannot be claimed. Therefore , and for many years ,
postings have been made on Carer forums from carers who
had to either forego or give up further education because of
this barrier.

Many students planning to enroll today may not even consider
enrolling because of this very same barrier.

Barrier or discrimination ?


Purpose of this email ? Always handy to have options if the Spirit
of '68 has disappeared into the history books ?

After all , some of those LSE ring leaders are now on £ 200K p.a.
in leading law firms ... for their " Sins " ? Funny old world ?

LSE have a long history of being in the front line when it comes
to contentious issues.

After all , there are proceedures ... and there are proceedures ...
in the past , the odd brick / banner / sit in tended to short circuit
the System in favour of getting things done ?

Feel free to contact me .... just how many of your students are
also carers , and how many students would love to don red /
black / rainbow head gear in your hallowed halls if only they
were able to if there was no 21 hour rule barrier.

Until the next demo ?

Not an email one would send to an mp , a mix to get their attention , something out of the left field ?

Traditional ways of doing things do not work anymore , as if they did before.

Answer ? Try something new even if it's traditional but presented in a " New " way.

If that doesn't work , try something else.

Rules ?

Well , what are they really for when Issues of this magnitude take priority ?

ps. Remind me not to send Ricky a link to this thread !

There would go yet another Christmas card ?

The Issue is now out there now for our supporting organisations to add their weight ......

Still , a very faint hope of the Government addressing this Issue through the Carers Strategy. I have the suspicion that they might , given their emphasis on working , and getting better educational skills.

Almost a £ 1 place bet on a two horse race ?

Bottom line ? Anyone else want to see the 21 Hour Rule remain in force ???
Brief update : Mr. X at the NUS has passed on copies of latest emails :
I have forwarded your response to our National Executive Councillor (Mature Students) and the Vice-President (Welfare). These two people are the political representatives and are best placed to receive your email.

I let the reference to " Political representatives " go in case their function is different , and are empowered to deal with outside issues.

I did add that most of his students will be enjoying the Easter break whereas , in Carerland , surving and caring go on as usual. I'll make him an honary supporter yet !!!

For students who are caring , and carers wanting to study , politics hardly enters the argument beyond needing a change in the Law to exclude the 21 Hour Rule from qualifying for Carers Allowance.

Call it what you like , I call it a battle plan.

First since the Carers Letter , some 8 years ago , launched through CarerWatch.

This time on two fronts ... Carers Concessionary Travel being our other.

Operation .... 2009 Revisited .... perhaps ?

History leading to 2009 :

http://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-camp ... hope-29230

We lost too many dedicated carers back then , as did both supporting organisations.

Check the Archives for the Roll of Honour ... prolific posters on all sections that have simply disappeared after 2009 for whatever reasons , losing faith in the whole System being an obvious one.

Time to address the balance ?

Anymore pieces needed ?
The Student Room .... Online Forum ... over 2 MILLION registered members !

Just joined , opening post awaiting the okay from their " Green lights ".

Main chat section ... a mere 5.4 million posts !

Calling all student carers ... Carers Allowance ... 21 Hour Rule ... brief explanation and direct link to this thread.

Being Easter , might take a few days once their hangovers wear off ?

If some carers had their way , all public holidays would be banned ... how would the rest of population like that idea to experience just a taster of survival / life in CarerLand ?

Still , what an opportunity !

Steam in there son !

Okay I'm in ... it's deserted and dark , where's the light switch or do I need a bugle ?
Very interesting !

Post was rejected by their Green Lights ... no explanation , no way to contact them.

I'll mention to Mr. X at the NUS in our next exchange.

Mmmm ... any reader also a member on that Forum ?

I won't persue , a Forum wherein one just goes round in ever decreasing circles.

Shame ... perfect opportunity ... are carers on all outside areas blacklisted ???
Not to be put off , and not exactly clutching at straws but .... copy of email sent to the LibDems :

Norman Lamb / Paul Burstow field.

Ongoing attempt through my local mp / NUS to get this on the Agenda for Carers Day in the House scheduled for June ... if nothing else.

Have asked my local mp to alert his colleagues on the All Party Carers Group in the House.

The problem ?

21 Hour Rule - 35 hours minimum caring to claim Carers Allowance.
Only 21 hours for studying allowed.
Go half and hour over , and Carers Allowance ceases.

How many hours in a week ? 168
Caring 35 / Studying 21 / Sleeping 49 ... 63 hours left ... ?

The Government's policy is to get anyone who can work into work.
Same time , encourage all to getting higher education and better skills.

Somewhat contradictory me thinks ?

What do YOU think ?



Tories ?

Clutching crucifix , and bottle of That water at hand , dropped in ... after sending their bot on a worldwide tour first ... 53 seconds ... wish me luck , where are those boltcutters ?

Email us ... fine ... no facility to ask a question on policy ... what a surprise.

Picture of Maggie Mark One ... leering , thumb up , boot on miners.

Picture of Maggie Mark Two ... leering , thumb up , boot on carers and our carees.

Both in regulation leather coats with " Those " hats and insignia ... Vote Tory , you know it makes sense !

Out quick , 4 seconds left on clock , cleared history , rebooted Internet connection , should be safe ?

Must wipe the slime off my fingertips ... a drop just went straight through the carpet !

I hope my downstairs neighbour wasn't sitting underneath ?

Vote Tory ... that will take on a whole new meaning ?


Next thread ... what did you do over easter ? ... if I posted on there , 10 / 15 stretch guaranteed ?

Still , better than most care homes , and three meals a day !
Obviously , yesterday's news of a forthcoming general election throws a big spanner in the works as far as receiving a reply from my local mp is concerned.

For all mps , number one priority kicks in ... self preservation and loyalty to whichever party !

I'll resume posting on this thread as soon as any other news comes in.
A reply from My contact at the NUS ... followed by my reply :

Need to observe protocol , precis follows :

Essence : Subject to internal proceedures.

Problem known , highlighted , will explore further
I was anticipating the " Rule 4 , paragraph 12 , Sub-section 5 a-b "
type response ... same barrier whenever dealing with supporting
organisations in the social care field.

There are several other interested parties involved , as it stands ,
I am hoping that , through my own mp , this Issue will make it's
way to Carers Day in the House , which is scheduled for June.

Only spanner in the works is the calling of a General Election !

If I am successful , the Issue may now be accelerated if , and a
big IF , a private members bill was in the offering ... a long shot
but logical.

Question that will then arise is ... what will the NUS's position
be ... assuming that the " Rule Book " is followed to the letter
rather than trying to resolve an issue that transends normal
avenues in it's immediate advantages to student carers ... present ,
future and carers needing to study before facing unemployment
when their caring days cease ?

Copies of ALL exchanges are being posted on the Carers UK forum
to let the hundreds of thousands carers interested know precisely
what's going on ... blow by blow.


More when it comes in .....
Further exchange :
Reference to NUS Wales , posted below :

Also 2015 campaign , again posted below.
Wales ? First time I've seen a challenge to the 21 Hour Rule ...
introduced some 40 odd years ago ... the Kraken awakens ???

Perhaps direct " Wales " to the Carers UK forum ?

This Issue originates from the " Street / Grass Roots / Gulag ...
whatever " as can be inferred from the plain English used.

In CarerLand , with 6 million+ carers , the only way anything
tends to get done is by ourselves ... safe bet never to rely on
others ... I speak from 19 years experience of precisely that.

If you like , in student terms , the Spirit of '68 ... probably now
studied in recent political / economic and social history ???



Student carers need specific, individual support

The Diamond Review recommended that the Welsh Government find a way of providing ‘targeted support’ to students with experience of care. However, we’re concerned that that definition only refers to those who have been in the care system themselves. Of course, that’s incredibly important and necessary, but that narrow definition leaves out a substantial number of students in Wales who have caring responsibilities.

There is a risk that government tries to consider both these groups together, through the same support packages. However, anyone who has experience of being in the system or of being a carer knows that they are two very different groups, which equally require specific, individual support.

We know that there are around 370,000 unpaid carers in Wales and figures from Carers Trust Wales show that the amount of care they provide saves the Welsh economy £8.1 billion every year. We think it’s now time that the Welsh Government help them in return.

So how many young carers are there in Wales?

Around 30,000 carers under 25 – known as young (under-18) and young adult (aged 18-25) carers.
Census figures show that there are 12,000 self-identifying carers under 18 in Wales.
650 children aged 6-7 who are carers.

This is personal and important to me

From the age of 15, I was a carer for my Dad, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. It was a difficult few years, and sometimes still is, however it was just part of life as I knew it. And there are plenty of other people in the same boat – there are currently 670,000 unpaid carers in the UK caring for someone with dementia.

From my own experience and having had conversations with other young carers, I know that support for carers who were students or wanted to become students did not go nearly far enough. I’ve heard so many stories from carers about how education has failed them. In fact, these stories were part of what inspired me to run to be your Deputy President, in the hope that I could have the opportunity to make a difference to young carers in education.

Since becoming Deputy President, I have been working on how institutions can support student carers. I have also been working with Carers Trust Wales and have attended their Young Adult Carer Forum which was a great opportunity to hear what can be changed to support carers’ responsibilities and education. I also contribute to the UK National Policy Forum for Carers.

Through these groups and engaging with young adult carers, we have a number of suggestions on how education can be more supportive. From having a Carers’ Champion in schools, to students being taught about carers through Personal, Social and Health Education lessons, transport support, flexible deadlines, and action on issues that carers have in claiming Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
NUS Wales’ research to support student carers

Carers Trust Wales estimates that there are 1,600 students with caring responsibilities who start their first year of an undergraduate course every year in Wales. That makes up around 4% of our entire HE population.

They are not currently financially supported to cover the costs of their caring responsibilities. In our view, that is an unacceptable situation for them to be in, and that’s why we’ve recently researched into what options the Welsh Government has to provide funding support to these students. This work has resulted in a policy paper, A Fair Deal for Students, a draft of which I yesterday presented to Kirsty Williams, who is the Cabinet Secretary for Education in the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government’s two main options

1. Extend the new, proposed system of student finance from the Diamond Review to include student carers. At an additional cost of some £15 million per year, that would mean £3,250 available per year to student carers, assessed through Student Finance Wales.


2. The Welsh Government and the UK Government to extend the existing Carers Allowance to students, achieved by removing the restriction on studying full-time while claiming the Allowance. UK Government to either cover this cost itself (some £15 million per year in Wales) and apply the change across the UK, or Welsh Government to repay the costs directly to the UK Government.

Both of these are realistic, practical, and fully-costed solutions to the challenges that carers face to accessing education. I am clear that everyone should be able to access education regardless of their personal circumstances.

The Welsh Government now has a golden opportunity to show that it is serious about supporting people into education. We very much hope that they will take our recommendations on board, and I look forward to talking through them with the Cabinet Secretary.

Definition: A carer is anyone, of any age, who provides unpaid care and support to a relative, friend or neighbour who needs care and support.


What have Carers Uk ( Wales ) been doing ?
Involved .. yes ?
Encouraged English / Scottish / Northern Ireland arms to follow their lead ???
Why not post developments under this thread to save duplication ???
Policy not to liaise with mere plebs ???

2015 Campaign

In late 2013, we launched the first ever national piece of research into the experiences of student carers. The report ‘Learning with Care’, exposed a lack of support for student carers and the detrimental effect this has on their ability to access and success in education. The report also made seven recommendations, calling on the government, the Further Education and Higher Education sectors, institutions and students' unions to improve the experiences and lives of student carers.

Following on from that, last year we took part in the launch of the Time to be Heard campaign at parliament, which was a significant step for getting young adult carers the support that they need in education. Since then, we've seen the awareness of student carers as a group improve across the student movement and have embedded more information about student carers at our events.

This year we introduced workshops from Carers Trust at NUS democratic events and workshops on student parents and carers inclusion featured within our summer officer training programme. We have been proud to work with Carers Trust to co-create guidance for universities and colleges. So if you would like to find out more about how to better support student carers at your institution download our recently uploaded guidance for universities and for colleges.

With the current attacks on the education sector, and maintenance grants specifically, it is crucial that institutions and students' unions stand up to defend the right to access education, especially for a marginalised group of students.

In solidarity,

Step by step ....

" The Big MO ? "

Not quite Josh , we're English ... we'll get there ... eventually !

Unlike you colonial upstarts , we have centuries of tradition to wade through !
Occasionly , sitting on top of one's hill looking down at the chaos unfolding below has some merits ... this is definately one of those occasions.

Background ... interlocking threads ...Umbrella organisations ( Lost when Carers UK : Your Organisation forum was removed ) , 21 Hour rule ... the players so far in this Issue :

Me ... I started it
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 ! )

Beginning to see a " Slight " problem looming ... and we are only just starting ... ???


Anyone play chess ?

When attacking , is it not normal to coordinate pieces ?

Question to ANYONE reading .... how does one REALISTICALLY coordinate all the above into one functioning team to deal with this Issue ?


Mps ? I can only communicate with my local mp ... carer issue ? ... only local mp again , act as a postman.

It's not rhetorical ... I need help .... will post again on Monday after trying to fit all pieces in over the weekend ... realising that for so many , the term " Weekend " does not exist !

No problem in CarerWatch days but ... now ?????


Ideal solution ?

All Party Carers Group ... direct contact ... exactly what it says on the label !!!

OUR mps ... let's get them working for OUR benefit ???

Trouble is , like so many we come across daily ... what's in the tin ????
From Steven Kennedy's excellent take on Carers Allowance , published in 2016 :

http://www.carersuk.org/forum/support-a ... s-it-29183

Page 19 :

The rationale for excluding those in full-time education from the Carer’s Allowance is the same as that for the so-called “overlapping benefits rule”, which applies in certain circumstances when a person is entitled to more than one social security benefit.

DWP officials have in the past confirmed to the Library that the prohibition on people in full-time education receiving Carer’s Allowance is an extension of this principle.

The assumption is that people in full-time education are already being maintained via mainstream student support, and that payment of Carer’s Allowance would duplicate provision.

Now , I'm not a student but ... how much of the above is " True " in 2017 ???

And that word ... ASSUMPTION ... if not true , does it now invalid any argument to maintain the 21 Hour Rule ...or provide enough ammunition to confine it to history ???

The 21 hour study rule has been criticised by a number of organisations as a barrier to carers wishing to engage in education or training in order to update their skills with a view to entering or returning to the labour market,

In its July 2008 report, Valuing and supporting carers, the Work and Pensions Committee stated :

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.

The Labour Government’s response was published on 19 December 2008. In relation to the above recommendations it said :

The Government is keen to ensure that carers have access to training opportunities that will enable them to improve their skills in preparation for entry or re-entry to the job market if their caring responsibilities come to an end.

Rather than consider piecemeal changes to Carer's Allowance, the Government intends to look specifically at the support offered to carers through the benefits system as part of its development of the single benefit.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is committed to tackling the many barriers people face to accessing opportunities to get into training and on at work.

This includes those with full time caring responsibilities, of whom an estimated 1 in 5 has left or turned down a job because of caring responsibilities.

The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is introducing a new advisory service - the adult advancement and careers service (aacs) - that will combine skills and training advice with practical guidance for people on how to overcome the barriers they face in getting on in life.

The aacs will provide a one-stop-shop for those seeking training and help into work but who also face problems in areas like childcare, money matters, housing and disability issues.

The service will be freely available to all, but it is intended that it will provide particular targeted support for groups such as carers, ensuring that they do not miss out on opportunities to achieve their ambitions because of the social contribution they have made.

The new service will be operational in Autumn 2010.

Jettisoned in 2012.

In a word ... PATHETIC ... and now , some 7 YEARS later , WE are raising this Issue again !

Everyone else seems to have been in hibernation whilst thousands of students and carers have been effectively debarred from seeking higher education year after year.

Another Golden Rule emerging :

In CarerLand , if WE need to try to get something done for OUR benefit , do WE need to do it OURSELVES ???

Words fail me on occasions such as this one !!!
76 posts