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Giant Leap Backwards - Carers UK Forum

Giant Leap Backwards

Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.
Contents of an email received from DWP today:
Hello
I thought you might like to know a slight change in how we look at full time education in relation to Carers Allowance. If some one is classed as in full time education we will no longer look at the hours they study, instead they will not qualify for Carers Allowance as they are in full time education. If they are classed as part time, Carers Allowance will have to gather information from the establishment where the studying takes place to confirm the hours. If its is less than 21 hours Carers Allowance can still be entitled.
I have copied you the official guidance from Carers Allowance.
. The Court of Appeal decided on 23/06/2010 that where a student is attending a full-time course as described by the institution they are studying at, they are in full-time education (FTE). There is no need to calculate actual hours of study.
2. For CA, this means that the way FTE decisions are made has changed. The over-riding factor is the description of the course provided by the educational establishment, not the number of hours of supervised study. If the course is described as full-time, the number of hours of study is no longer looked at.
3. If the educational establishment does not state that the course is full-time and it is not clear whether the course is full-time or part-time, the Decision Maker must then calculate the hours of attendance expected by the education establishment to complete the course.
I read the guidance a couple of days ago, this means that someone doing less than 21 hours supervised study on a course which is designated full-time will not be entitled to CA whereas someone else doing the same number of hours supervised study on a course designated part-time will be entitled to CA, I cannot quite see the logic behind the Court of Appeal judgement and wonder if leave to appeal to the House of Lords has been sought.
I doubt it: but the logic is totally bizarre and shows yet again how out of touch some judges are. And it's yet another example of how the benefits system is screwing down hard on everyone.
It is also counter-productive, if successive governments want to encourage carers to combine caring and work and/or to prepare for work when caring ends, many carers will need qualifications or to update their qualifications in order to enter or return to the workplace, losing their CA is hardly going to encourage them to acquire the skills and qualifications which employers are looking for.