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Advice on working part time and claiming CA and IS - Carers UK Forum

Advice on working part time and claiming CA and IS

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For the past 5 years I have been caring for my Dad full time. Late last year I got a part time job working 10 hours per week, so well below what I am allowed to earn as a carer. I was then called in for a interview at the Job Centre in February to discuss my change in circumstances. They said because I did not let them know about my job that I had to stop receiving Income Support and possibly pay that money back but they would agree to an arrangement I could afford.

So after a Mandatory Reconsideration they have decided that I still need to pay this money. The reason I never thought about telling the Job Centre is that all letters have DWP on them and with me being a full time carer, I never need to speak to the Job Centre directly, ever and before I started this job I had a work trial and even before the work trial I made several phone calls to the Carers Allowance Department. This is all on record I am told, every step of the way right up till me signing the contract, all my phone calls are on record. I did not know that you had to make separate phone calls and at the time I thought telling the Carers Allowance Department would be enough, after all it's all under the DWP and what really got to me was not once was I ever told or informed that if you start working....you can no longer claim Income Support. Because the job is not many hours, I would never have taken the job had I known that.

So I can't do anything it's Saturday. I need to wait till Monday. I have a local Carers Centre which provides support and I called them when this happened and they said the same thing, if you work and try to earn up to £123 you can't claim Income Support. They never told me this prior either. I have this letter through and in this letter it says 'for the purposes of Income Support you can work whilst being a carer however you are required to inform Income Support when you start working and you are required to declare your earnings. I am satisfied had you notified us about you working this over payment would not have occured'.

So can anyone tell me if this has happened because you cannot claim Income Support and Carers Allowance and work at the same time or has this happened simply because I did not phone Income Support specifically and let them know I had started work? Also the way the letter is worded it comes across like I can claim Income Support whilst being a Carer and still be allowed to work part time (earning under £123 per week). But yet I had to sign off Income Support in February. Does anyone have any advice on this at all? And when I make the phone call on Monday asking about this, does anyone have any experience paying the money back? Will they accept a small amount each week? Currently I'm paying around £6 per week for a budgeting loan. Would they consider an amount like that?
Mmmm ... looking at the the Government web site , it looks pretty clear
when claiming Income Support :

https://www.gov.uk/income-support/repor ... cumstances
Report a change of circumstances

You need to report changes to your circumstances so you keep getting the right amount of Income Support.

Your claim might be stopped or reduced if you do not report a change straight away.

A change of circumstance can include:

starting or stopping work, education, training or an apprenticeship.
moving house.
people moving into or out of the place you live (for example your partner or a child).
changing your name.
changes to the benefits you or anyone else in your house gets.
changes to other money you get (for example student loans or grants, sick pay or money you get from a charity).
changes to your pension, savings, investments or property.
going into hospital or a care home or sheltered accommodation
going abroad for any length of time

Call Jobcentre Plus if you’re not sure whether you need to report a change.

You may be prosecuted or have to pay a £50 penalty if you give wrong or incomplete information, or do not report changes straight away.

How to report

You can report a change of circumstances by:

calling the Jobcentre Plus helpline for existing benefit claims.
writing to the Jobcentre Plus office that pays your Income Support - the address is on the letters you get about your Income Support.

Jobcentre Plus - existing benefit claims
Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Welsh Language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The Carers Allowance Unit was notified but ... was the Job Centre / Income Support Unit ?

Informing one unit does NOT automatically mean all units will be informed.

Therein lies the problem ?

A deduction from the information so provided ... nothing more !
I didn't think to look at any website when I started working because it's all meant to be the same thing, the DWP, the Job Centre, the benefits etc etc, the asking for your NI number at the start of a phone call, the security questions. I'm a full time carer, I've no need to go near a Job Centre so no.....it never crossed my mind to phone them. I thought phoning the Carers Allowance Department would therefore let everyone in the DWP know what I'm doing.

I think on Monday, because this still isn't clear to me. Am i being asked to pay this money back because I didn't let them specifically know about the job or am I being asked to pay it back because as a full time carer that is allowed to earn up to £123 per week here in Scotland I can no longer claim Income Support with it. If it's the former I will pay the money back but I'd also like to claim Income Support again and start getting that £44 per week again and things can go back to normal.

I need them to tell me what the reason for this overpayment is and if it turns out I can be a full time carer and I can earn up to £123 per week and I can claim Income Support then I'd like to claim Income Support again.
Claiming Carers Allowance and Income Support ... fine.

ANY earnings from employment will affect the level of Income Support.

( The weekly earning limit is NOT applicable in these circumstances ... not CA + IS + Wage. )

Crunching some numbers through any online benefits calculator would have confirmed this.

Normally , a claimant will be told by how much when they report the change in circumstances.

By not reporting the change to the IS unit , the current problem has arisen.

By deduction , an overpayment has been made , this will need to be paid back.

How much per week / month ?

Down to the judge and jury on this one ... the DWP.
So I could still get some Income Support?
Contingent on income.

If solely CA , highly probable.

If earning as well , that's when the calculator comes out.

Strangely , somewhat simplified under Universal Credit.

If not already rolled out on your manor ... be careful what you wish for ?
Well I'm working 10 hours at about £83 per week so I'm about £40 better off than what I was when it was just CA and IS. That's why I said had I known this, there was no point in taking the job, especially when you consider travel expenses. So I don't know how that works out, I'll have to ask because if i am allowed some Income Support, why sign me off it?
For best case scenarios , numerous online benefit calculators are to be recommended.

As for income levels when claiming income related benefits , that's a question best asked of Government.
You mentioned travel expenses. As far as CA is concerned, I thought that travel expenses were deducted from your income figure for CA?
Travel expenses ?

Depends whether the DWP allow them to be deducted against CA ?

If employed , highly unlikely.