Direct payments advice needed.

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Hi all, new here.

I have read lots about Direct payments (DP) but am at a loss as to the best solutions so hope for some advice.

Firstly, i am not the carer, my wife and her sister look after wifes aged (dementia) mother at home on a shared basis. Sister in law is the 'named carer' and receives the carers allowance but is approaching retirement age (wife already retired), so i understand the Carers allowance will cease if she takes up the Age pension.

Social Services have recently arranged for a carer to attend for two days a week for a few hours each time, and a weekend respite (the first) was happily undertaken a couple of months ago.

Sister in law is pondering about deferring her pension on the assumption that she will continue to receive the carers Allowance, i am assuming that she would do so but confirmation would be appreciated.

Secondly, would the DP route be a better option? I have seen some stuff on here, such as the thread about DP only being a help if respite is actually available, (something that has not crossed my mind before), are the pitfalls as great as some Soc Services make out?, and if so, can you help identify those pitfalls from a users perspective.

All replies gratefully acknowledged.

Welcome aboard Jankers.

First of all on the benefits front, it's worth checking with Carers Line or a local welfare rights service to be sure - but the chances are that your sister-in-law's pension will be higher than the Carers Allowance so she needs to ask herself if deferring it will make her worse off: hence the need to get it checked out.

The question about Direct Payments is an interesting one, but I would ask "Is it working now?" If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Welcome to the forum

She should be very careful about deferring pension to stay on Carer's Allowance. People can be worse off if they do this, as although CA will stop, she will continue to have an underlying entitlement which might qualify her for extra pension credits because she is a carer. But it's way too complex to explain on a forum! She should call CarersLine or visit a local welfare rights centre.

This is from the November 2008 issue of Caring - which is Carers UK's members magazine. It might be useful

From the line…
Each month, Carers UK’s advice line answer hundreds of calls from carers. We look in depth at
a recent call to the line and at the advice the carer was given.

I care for my father, work part-time earning less than £95 a week and also receive
Carer’s Allowance. I get no means tested benefits such as Income Support or Council
Tax benefit because of a small occupational pension. I am coming up to retirement age and my employer would like me to continue working once I have passed 60. I enjoy my work so I am seriously considering this. Friends who are also nearing retirement age are thinking about continuing in employment and putting off claiming their pensions. Can I put off claiming my
pension and, as a carer, is it worth it?

You can continue to claim Carers Allowance if you put off (defer) claiming your State Pension
but you need to be clear about the rules for carers who claim Carer’s Allowance and defer
their pensions. Generally the advantage of deferring your State Pension is that in return for not claiming you will in the future get either extra State Pension or a one-off lump sum payment.

However, if you continue to claim Carer’s Allowance while you are putting off claiming your
State Pension, you will not build up any extra State Pension or a lump sum. This means that
there is no advantage to putting off claiming your pension and it may make more sense to stop claiming Carer’s Allowance at retirement age and to claim State Pension instead. You should, of course, get a pension forecast before making any decisions, just in case your pension is worth less than the current amount of Carer’s Allowance that is payable. For most carers though, their State Pension will be worth more than Carers’s Allowance and so it makes sense to claim the Retirement Pension.

You should also check out whether you will have any entitlement to Pension Credit once
you reach 60. The amount of income that you can have coming in and still be entitled to a
means tested benefit goes up when you reach 60 and can claim Pension Credit. You can
discuss a Pension Credit claim by ringing 08000 991234 in England, Scotland or Wales or 0808
100 6165 in Northern Ireland.

It is understandable that many carers would prefer to defer and continue getting Carer’s
Allowance. Their caring role continues despite reaching pension age and unfair overlapping
benefit rules mean they can lose their recognition as a carer. That’s why we think you should
also contact your MP about the lack of recognition received by carers over retirement age.

To obtain a copy of the booklet “Your guide to State Pension Deferral: Putting off your State
Hi Jankers and welcome. Were you in the Army perchance? Image

Many thanks folks, sorry for the delay but i have/am dealing with a funeral as well at the moment.

That post of Matt's [/quote]However, if you continue to claim Carer’s Allowance while you are putting off claiming your
State Pension, you will not build up any extra State Pension or a lump sum.[quote]

is a bit of an eyeopener, Carers seem to get it in the neck every which way!, i shall certainly bring that up with my MP.

Just to muddy the waters even more, we today found out that the cover provided by the Companionship Service is to be transferred from the Council to agencies throughout the borough, or so it is rumored, nothing definite yet.
Even though this element of the care plan had only operated for a few months it is invaluable, a real godsend, so any thoughts on the DP issues would be useful.
In any event, i guess that a visit to the local Rights Centre is a 'must do'.


Ps Pete,
Aye, but the signature is my reflection on life, always in the wrong place at the right time and end in the proverbial.
Ps Pete,
Aye, but the signature is my reflection on life, always in the wrong place at the right time and end in the proverbial.
Maybe we should all change our signature names then as that apllies to most of us Image Image

Good luck Jankers
Bluebird Image