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Carer Recognition Act - Carers UK Forum

Carer Recognition Act

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I am having problems with a huge respite bill for my father. I am his full time carer and when my husband was diagnosed with cancer dad agreed to go into respite while hubby went to Edinburgh for an operation. The respite was means tested and came to just less than £65 per week, which as dad has no disposable income we agreed to pay for him. What we didn`t know was that a few weeks turned into 5 operations and a blood clot and a respite bill of over £800. I contacted the local authority and we have been given a payment plan of £70 per month, but it is becoming a struggle as my hubby can no longer manage the stairs at dad`s house, or indeed the heat, and we have been allocated a ground floor council flat, suitable for our needs. A number of health care professionals have quoted the above act to me, in particular that the local authority should pick up the tab for dad`s respite as I had no way of caring for him and being at my husbands sick bed hundreds of miles away at the same time, but I am getting nowhere fast. I do not want to go down the road of not paying the bill and see what happens, I have never had debt before in my life and would never ignore it, I just want my entitlement to any refund I might be entitled to. Can anyone shed any light on this for me?
Hi Meg

You need to seek proper advice asap, however I have a few comments about charges.

I think I am right in saying that technically the debt is your father's and not yours, and you cannot be charged for a service that is delivered to your father. However I understand though, that if your father cannot pay, you feel a responsibility to settle his debt for him.

Charges for respite are decided locally and vary from council to council. However it is worth noting that your local council has the discretion not to charge your Father. It is entirely up to them how they charge, as long as they stick within government guidance. So you can appeal on your father's behalf against the charges. It may also be worth writing to your local councillor and your MP - it is totally unjust that you end up paying because you could not be in two places at once.

Please call CarersLine on 0808 808 7777 Wednesday and Thursday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm

Matt Hill
Carers UK

PS

Meg

I've just realised you're in Scotland. It shouldn't affect the gist of what I said, but the laws are sometimes slightly different in Scotland. All the more reason to get some expert advice.

The number I gave you for our advice service CarersLine is UK wide. You might also like to know that Carers UK has a specific office for Scotland. They have information leaflets etc specially geared for Scotland.

Their details are
Carers Scotland
91 Mitchell Street
Glasgow G1 3LN
T. 0141 221 9141
info@carerscotland.org
www.carerscotland.org

Matt Hill
Carers UK
Thank you, I will try helpline, and will keep the forum posted, as the outcome may help someone else, or at least stop a huge bill for someone else before it spiralls out of control. Just writing it down and getting supportive feedback has made my day, I have battled with social work over this but the social worker who said "Don`t worry, you will be covered under Carers Recognition Act" has since retired and no one else seems to want to know as long as the monthly payments roll in.