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Discuss news stories and political issues that affect carers.

the last paragraph spells the end of the attendance allowance as we know it .

Carers needs would often be met if the needs of the person being cared for were povided for.
this outcome req effective co-ordination of services between the department of work and pensions and other organisations in central and local government, as well as the voluntary and community sector improving relationships at a local level would make it easier for carers to be refered quickly to the services they need .

what services do we need most of us would like an increase in the carers allowance and respite as and when req how will this be funded as we have no new cash the only way to fund such a local government scheme would be to remove the attendance allowance and by definition the carers allowance this scheme would put the elderly disabled into poverty we know how to spend the attendance allowance mainly it subsidises the small carers allowance .
the vast majority of carers do not want the local authority via social services to be involved with the care of our elderly disabled relatives.

in the report it states that the 900-000 carers inreceipt of the carers allowance save the state some 23 billion pounds per year in social care costs ive always said that by keeping our elderly disabled relatives out of the social care system we do save them cash but if they remove the attendance allowance and the carers allowance we would be faced with such a drop in income many of us me included would either go bankrupt or place our elderly disabled relatives in the social care system BANG goes the 23 billion pounds that we save the state .

the accounts committee have no idea at all just what we carers want they say part time work could be the best solution hang on is that those in full time work should go part time of those of us who work as full time carers should seek part time work .

why have carers uk not raised the problem of the attendance allowance being under threat why talk about carers allowance when within the year we may not even have the allowance as it is reliant on the elderly person being cared for receiving the attendance allowance .
Read here

Britain's 6 million unpaid carers who look after relatives or dependants are bamboozled by "incomprehensible" official guidance on benefits, MPs say today. Only about 900,000 people receive allowances, partly because regulations are "unnecessarily complex" and inadequately advertised, the Commons public accounts committee suggests. The study notes that £2bn a year is given out in benefits to carers, while their commitment saves the Treasury around £23bn in health and social work bills. It adds that jobcentres do not provide enough help to carers seeking part-time work
Too complex

The cross-party committee chairman Edward Leigh said: "The value of the service that these unpaid carers provide to society is not reflected in the quality of the DWP's arrangements for providing them with financial and other support.

"Carers who apply for benefits should not have to wade through official written guidance and communications which can range from the hard-to-understand to the downright incomprehensible.

"And they should not have to be jumping through unnecessary hoops to apply for benefits and allowances

No one can deny the system needs changing.It is far too complex but the above gives the govt the ideal excuse of doing away with Carers Allowance instead of reforming it.

You cannot have 1/2 carers on JSA ( when AA goes ) and 1/2 on CA.We already know their aim is a one point entry for all benefits which means ALL benefits being streamlined towards that aim.They have already started it with IS/IB and the new ESA that came in last year.

All of the above will be pushed forward further quicker under the Tories too.

As much as many carers are tired, have enough to cope with, are battling on so many fronts, they are in fact the strongest group of people I have ever known.

For me, Carers Allowance MUST remain seperate from the main benefit system.To give true recognition of not just what carers do,but what we are.

I may be wrong in my thinking.Maybe JSA is the best route for some here.
None of the above about benefits applies to me so maybe its me coming at it from the wrong angle.

Can anyone convince me that the govt are taking the right direction, because as far as I can see , each step they are taking just now is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Carers UK has reacted to today’s report from the Committee of Public Accounts (Supporting Carers to care, 42nd Report of Session 2008-09) which reveals that carers find it hard to access state benefits and employment support because of confusing and complex processes and poor communication from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Launching the report, Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of Committee, said: “The value of the service that these unpaid carers provide to society is not reflected in the quality of DWP’s arrangements for providing them with financial and other support.â€Â
We're also quoted in the Telegraph:

www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/ ... arers.html

And Imelda, our Chief Exec, was on GMTV, BBC Breakfast and the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning.

Watch/listen out for her and some of our carer case studies on the BBC News Channel and the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 later this morning.
Excellent press release, showed the DWP's response up for what it is, weasel words Image Image .
I don't really need a paltry carers benefit to recognise my role - and in common with most working carers, many of whom don't receive the benefit, or receive it intermittently, that isn't really the point. I'm not so insecure that I need the government to tell me I'm a carer! However, cash to replace lost earnings and compensate me for my unpaid care task is always welcome. After all, as a working carer I'm a net contributor through my income tax and NI contributions.

I'd like simplification of the system, maybe aligned to the tax credits system though I'm no fan of tax credits either - they are a mess.

The Child benefit is a good system because you don't have to keep claiming it or informing the office every time your situation changes, which in my case is very frequent. Its very simple and cheap to administer. However, it is a universal benefit and even millionaires get it.

On balance my preference would probably be something like Child benefit - a non-means tested sum paid into the bank of all families who provide care every fortnight, probably on three bands to take account of low, medium or higher rate DLA. At the top level it should be at least the minimum wage. Nothing less will do - and it should be up to the carer/s if they choose to use it to buy in extra help or to reduce their working hours.

Yes, this would cost the government a lot of money, but I sincerely believe that the savings on social services and nursing home fees would be very very significant.