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Help - Carers UK Forum


For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.

I am currently caring for my wife who is suffering from severe clinical depression, and also my two young children. Since April, I have been unable to go to work because my wifes mental health has detriorated where she doesnt like to leave the house or care for the children alone.

To get out of work I have been seeing my GP to sign me off with stress, so I can care for the family and now we are living off the SSP. My employer has started to add pressure for me to go back to work at reduced hours to start, but to build up too at least minimum 30 hours which I am unable to do with current home life because I am doing everything and unable to see any improvements.

I have applied for my wife to try and receive the DLA, and then get the carers allowance for myself to try and maximise our income.

At the moment I am at my wits end trying to manage everything at home and I do not know what to say to my employers. People have mentioned about giving up work and living on benefits because I have so much more on my plate and unable to do work as well.

Please help with any advice you can offer me.


does your wife get incapicity benefit. also you can give carersuk's helpline a ring and there can help you too
Ian, have you had a carers assessment done? Do you get any outside help in at all?
Plus most job centres now have Care partnership managers . They are primarily for carers unemployed but no harm in asking them for advice.
No, we get no benefits apart from tax credits and now the statutory sick pay. I have managed to get housing and council tax benefit so we can keep a roof over our heads.

I am 35, and my wife is 30. Do I give up work and look after them full time asking my employers to terminate my contract somehow so I can claim benefits. Is it possible to bring up a family on such a low income?
firstly you need to get incapicity benefit for your wife. i am not sure but from what i can remember you cant get dla unless you get incapicity. im sure someone will correct me on that if i am wrong. as a couple the law saids you need £172 per week to live on, that does not include any money you may get for children. i hope that helps you...
Ian, you need specialised advice. Carers UK have a free helpline, see details here

If you want advice sooner you can also contact Carers Direct
Information on right hand side of that link.
Thank you for your help I will try and call them.

What is a carers assessment all about?

I am worried sick at the moment I cannot keep up repayments on our car and may lose it, which is how I get my wife to her therapy sessions.
If you get time look at this link , menu down left hand side.

Work and caring

Carers assessments these dont happen overnight though and depends on if meet criteria.
a carers asseessment is done by social services into your needs as a carer and help and support that is available to you in your area. contact your local council and get one set up. it is important that you get proper advice as soon as possiable. rosemary has gave you some links for advice, also citzens advice and online benefit advice(insure its free thou). i use a council website which checks all the money i am entitled too..
Your wife does not have to be in receipt of IB, now ESA for new claimants, to be in receipt of DLA, it is an in-work as well as out-of-work benefit, i.e. people who are disabled and in work can receive it if they meet the criteria. You do need to get benefits advice to ensure that you are receiving, will receive if you give up work, all the benefits, including means-tested benefits such as Income Support, to which you are entitled and you also can receive a calculation of how much you would be entitled to if you stopped working before you make the decision to give up work entirely.

As a carer you are entitled to request flexible working hours, your employer does not have to agree to this. You might want to consider asking your employer about the possibility of findng you a part-time job within the same company, you can earn up to £100 a week and still retain your entitlement to Carers Allowance if you become entitled to it. If you are hoping to return to work fairly soon I would look at all the options to retain a foot in the workplace, including part-time work, if that is possible to try to avoid gaps in your employment record. I realise that this is a terribly difficult decision and I am sure that you will make the right one for you and your family.