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Direct Payments and carer pay - Carers UK Forum

Direct Payments and carer pay

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

I have posted a couple of questions here and am grateful for the advice.

Hope you can help with this one.

We get Direct Payments to buy care for 90 year old Mother in Law who lives a few miles from us. The council pays it into a bank account and from there we pay an agency who provides several hours per week domicilliary care. My wife still goes up very day and helps her Mum, does her shopping, washing and sorting things out. My wife is now retired and even with her state pension and small private pension, she is nowhere near to the amount you need to earn before tax needs to be paid. As long as she records it for the DP audit team, can she receive a small amount from the bank account for her efforts, and as she will be below any tax threshold, can she do so without having to go through a payroll bureau? If need be she can put it on a tax form of course, but there wont be any liability.

Any help appreciated.
Advice on this can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeo ... G_10016128

This is the guidance

Unless your council decides that exceptional circumstances make it necessary, you cannot use direct payments to pay for a service from:
your spouse (husband or wife)
your civil partner
a partner with whom you live as a couple
a close relative with whom you live, or the spouse or partner of that close relative

I hope that helps. If in doubt ask the local authority.
I would suggest asking the local authority in any event before you do it even though the guidance doesnt seem to include parents or close relatives you don't live with .. just in case ..
my god that guidence looks like the stuff DAVID LAWS should have read .. if an M.P from the treasury department cant understand his expenses claims how can we...
shambles us usual

i have just had the offer for direct payments of the council to look after my mum and it is "special circumstances " as they say due to there is no one else to do it for mum try asking them about your problem and they can only say yes or no

ken Image Image
Some councils will accept exceptional circs if the person being care for will not accept help from anyone else!
It varies from area to area so it's worth a go!
We use DP and employ our daughter as a PA - it works really well for us!
marie x
I think you need to get intouch with your local direct payments office/advisor, presume different councils have different rules, my daughter employs her auntie as her P.A and also has respite, as she will not have it elsewhere..........they deal with payrol/ tax stuff, post me her wage slip, i send a cheque out every month good luck mandy
Hi Jumar,

My mother receives direct payments and I am her PA (personal assistant), I've been working for Mum now for 31/2 yrs as her main and only carer. Just recently we have employed my daughter to work weekends so I could then have a break. So we are definitely keeping it in the family! Image

I can't see why your wife can't become a PA for your mother in law. Get advice from the Direct Payment helpline or Social Worker about how many hours she could work before she becomes eligible for tax. So long as you kept a record of payments and hours etc I can't see a problem. I do pay tax but the wages department work all that out for me thank goodness because I am useless at maths!! Image

Good luck,
There is no problem with a carer being paid through the Direct Payment route, and the guidance is clear on this. If the carer doesn't live with the person they are caring for, no council can really say no.

Some have a blanket ban on carers living with the person they care for receiving Direct Payments, though, while others will go down the route recommended by the government that it is allowable only where (as Ken said) there are "special circumstances" in terms of availability of workers with sufficient expertise to carry out the task.
[quote]Unless your council decides that exceptional circumstances make it necessary, you cannot use direct payments to pay for a service from]

So caring is work as long as it's not caring for your spouse/partner, or a close relative that live with. Then it is no longer work it's ?? duty? emotional blackmail? hard luck? an act of love?

Guess the answer depends on what sort of society you want to live in?

My husband's Direct payments were based not on the amount of care he needs (literally 24/7 within eyesight) but on the mimimum amount of respite the LA thought it could get away with awarding me.

When A4E who manage the payroll etc for Direct Payments in our area came out to discuss the arrangements we needed to put in place for my husbands care they asked me if perhaps i could use the direct payments to pay a relative to help me with my husband's care. The reason i needed the payments was because i needed 'outside' help. My family either needed help from me or were already doing all they could to help.

The whole system is illogical and iniquitous!
I agree Belle. My daughter was paid £300 after tax as direct payment for caring for her brother last year, for four days. My son had to contribute £120 of that from his weekly income, even though he was at home and the living costs for him were the same as always.My daughter was living at home, and she used a good part of the money to fill the family pantry up and to treat her brother.
She cared for him for 72 hours, I cared for him the rest of the week, and I only received Carers Allowance(plus I was still caring for my husband, even having respite from my son).