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Direct Payments for Carers - Carers UK Forum

Direct Payments for Carers

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

Just thought I'd share what I've just learned about Carers Assessment/Direct Payments for Carers.

I've spent a lot of time online researching what help is available for carers, and Direct Payments kept popping up, but it seemed very unclear how to get them. It appeared that you have a Carers Assessment, then they suggest ways to help, and then provide funding to pay for things that will help you continue in your caring role. Simple, yes? As my caring situation has rapidly deteriorated, I asked for a second assessment.

Just had the second Carers Assessment, and as it began to dawn on me that there was going to be no offer of actual physical help for me out of this assessment, I carefully mentioned I'd heard about Direct Payments for Carers. He said that they were available, but NOT directly from MY social worker because my Mum already has a care package set up! Ah Ha! A penny is dropping!

Having researched what help might be available to me, I was very interested in getting funding for a permanent councellor (emotional stress relief) and maybe even some help towards the cost of some exercise, i.e. gym membership or similar (physical stress relief), so I probed towards those issues - not asking directly, of course.

Almost as an afterthought, he asked if it would be okay to forward my assessment over to my Mum's team, with the suggestions of financial help towards these specific things.

The reason is, because Mum already has a care package, direct payments are not available directly to me, unless they go through her existing care package, as an add-on. This was news to me!
Now I have to wait for someone from Mum's team to contact me about what they can do for me. (And yes of course I feel greedy and guilty, but if we ARE entitled to some help and relief from the caring role on occasion, I would like to accept that!)

Well, I'll let you all know if anything comes of it, but maybe some of you can use this info in getting some extra help as carers? I do hope so, as it's all so confusing at times!

All the best, Carolina

P.S. I researched extensively for info about this, and research was my profession before I became a carer, so without being big-headed, info about the ins and outs of Direct Payments for Carers is REALLY hard to find! So again, I hope this helps others out there!
Although any package for the carer would go through the same social worker as the person you care for, there is no reason why the carer's package would be tied in any way to the person you care for other than for the reason that it is easier to administer than having two separate packages. If what you are asking for is something that would be delivered to your caree - such as a respite package - then it would automatically be "their" package that would take it on. However, counselling would not. The only difficulty I can see with counselling is that the social worker might argue that it's something you could get via the NHS and it's therefore a health package, not social care, that you need.

Otherwise it cannot go onto your caree's package as they do not receive it and cannot in law be charged for it either.
I wont bore you all again ,,, but i was told i needed respite care every few months, weekends off , day care , even the odd hour now and again.....
but the whole system is MEANS TESTED and i would not be given one penny towards the help that i was informed i needed to help my own health problems .....


Cameron and Clegg want the carers allowance to be "maybe" replaced with direct payments, leaving thousands of carers who have private pensions with a £200 per month cut in benefits ,,, unless the new direct payments go to all who presently receive the carers allowance ,,, which was not indicated in the 3 letters received from D.W.&.P. they just ignored my question.....
George, the problem is nothing to do with your income - it's the old doll's. The respite may be what you need, but it doesn't count as your service - it's the old doll's because she's the one who will actually have the care, not you.

Of course, the system doesn't recognise that you share costs...
I wont bore you all again ,,, but i was told i needed respite care every few months, weekends off , day care , even the odd hour now and again.....
but the whole system is MEANS TESTED and i would not be given one penny towards the help that i was informed i needed to help my own health problems .....


Cameron and Clegg want the carers allowance to be "maybe" replaced with direct payments, leaving thousands of carers who have private pensions with a £200 per month cut in benefits ,,, unless the new direct payments go to all who presently receive the carers allowance ,,, which was not indicated in the 3 letters received from D.W.&.P. they just ignored my question.....
George, as a war pensioner the old doll is entitled to four free weeks holiday a year courtesy of the MOD, I thought you had already been using this?
Thanks for the input here.

Personally, I've just found it so confusing to find out about ANY help out there, let alone Direct Payments for Carers. I knew Mum could have either DPs or have services provided, but it seemed an either/or situation, I guess not?

But it was certainly good to find out how to ask for them for myself. I know their purpose is to 'help carers continue in their caring role', so if there's any chance at all of getting counselling to deal with the emotional pressure looking after my Mum creates (shedloads!), then yes, that would certainly help me continue in my caring role.

What I wanted to share was the fact that one needs to ask in the assessment for the results to be forwarded on to the team that is in charge of the carees care package, if there is one in place.

George, thanks for informing me they are means tested, but for my case and many others I presume, I have no other income other than Income Support and Carers Allowance and in debt up to my eyeballs, so there would be no way to self fund the things I need to help me.

Charles, I agree they'll probably want me to use NHS counselling, but so far, the NHS has only provided 6 weeks of counselling in any one year, which is nowhere near enough. I know I need something that is permanent. Particularly when my caree is my Mum who verbally attacks me on a near daily basis, I need at least one chance a week to offload somewhere!

Yes, nothing may come of this, but I'm giving it a shot. Here's hoping! Image

Carolina
Convalescence
Convalescent holidays may be approved if your accepted disablement prevents you from taking a normal holiday in a hotel or boarding house when accompanied by your usual carer. This is normally limited to 4 weeks in a period of 12 months. Breaks are usually taken in a registered nursing home.
Respite
Emergency respite care breaks may be approved if your carer is either ill or hospitalised , and you have no one availablle to provide care for you .


Think back ..as the old doll is war disabled above 80% she is entitled to either 4 weeks convalescence / respite care free from the S.P.V.A each year .. but as you can see from the above clip , if she can holiday with me her full time and only carer then she is not entitled to the convalescence break , which means i am unable to have a holiday on my own , as they say if she can holiday with me then she comes with me ,,,,,
respite care , i was informed when i next applied to send in a doctors letter which i did in June this year , informing them that my own health would benefit from a respite break , result the respite care is for emergencies only , and not for planned respite care in the future . so for me to get respite care as i`ve said dozens of times before i`ve got to be ill or in hospital ....therefore my claim has been turned down ...
DIRECT PAYMENTS --- iwas informed during my assessment that the direct payments were for me and myself alone to help me with whatever i needed not for the old doll ... and she said that i could use them for respite care day care and so on ... but as i have a private pension i was unable to be given any direct payments at all for myself to use for my own benefit .... the old dolls income stops her from claimning free respite care via local authority .... and read abve re veterans agency .... last year i was informed if doctors letter was sent no problem re respite care , but turned down yet again .... since 2006 when she became entitled to the veterans respite care she has had just 3 weeks ........
•As a carer the rule is that only your own resources are relevant when it comes to assessing your own direct payments, not the resources of the person for whom you are caring.


above clip from carers uk info .... direct payments for the carer thats me and my income ... nowt to do with the old doll and her pensions ...as i have said social worker said if i received direct payments to help me i could use them for respite care breaks ....
Whether we like it or not, and I do not particularly like it, means-testing ensures that only those who do not have the means to pay for their care or respite receive it free. What is the alternative when budgets are finite? Fewer people access free care and respite, including those who can afford to pay for it, or the budget is spread more widely by ensuring that those who can afford to pay make a contribution or pay the full cost according to their means and only those who cannot afford to pay receive it free?