A Rise In CA Or Remove the Barriers To Claiming CA ? No Contest ... BOTH !

All about money
Quite a bit has happened this year on the subject of CA ... and the forthcoming Green Paper may have some more news on this.

I estimate that at least four threads are still active on various aspects ... time to try to summarise under just one ... and to attract a wider audience.

Real starting gun was " That plan " announced by the Government to encourage more family carers to juggle work with caring ... " Welcomed " without qualification by both our supporting organisations.

Since then , that " Idea " has been shot down in flames by reports and articles on the state of social care in 2018.

In essence , the country needs hundreds of thousands of new family carers more than ever ... we are told that it simply cannot afford to continue with the present System let alone relieve the pressure on existing family carers.

If some rely on support , and there will be increasing shortages and further cutbacks .... ???

Caring is a choice ... and if nobody else provides the care / or outside care unaffordable ... ?

Some choice ... death by shooting or hanging ... either way , only one outcome !

Our Lord Kitch never sounded more happier ... rubbing his hands with glee ... more lambs to the slaughter ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... rd%20kitch

Why not the opposite ... ENCOURAGE family carers to care more ... after all , a slave labour force at the System's disposal ?

£ 130 BILLION saved ... why not £ 150 BILLION ?

Carers Allowance ... Carers Pittance ...

Recently , Carers UK launched a campaign for CA to be raised to the level of CA in Scotland ... Fairer For Carers :

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/social-a ... rers-34307

Suffice to say , even if CA was raised to that level , it would still be less than the level of CA in 1980 ( When adjusted for inflation / purchasing power ).

A red herring ... and would look good for both the Government and Carers UK ... but the reality ?

Accepting a " Pay rise " which is only giving us back part of what we have lost over the past 38 years ???

Eligibility for Carers Allowance / Pittance ?

Unchanged and unchallenged ( In the courts ) for 40+ years.

If the Government were REALLY sincere in seeing more family carers juggle work with caring , WHY keep the same eligibility criteria ?

Earn £ 1 more than £ 120 per week and lose the whole CA ( £ 64.60 per week ) ?

Not even a taper ... say £ 1 for a £ 1 ... straight off that cliff edge.

Sure there are ways to marshall income so that the limit is not exceeded ... replies almost every other day along these lines to newbies on the forum.

Senior citizens carers ( 1 million + ) lose out ... the infamous " Double benefit rule " ... as if the State Pension was a " Benefit " ... as do student and current carers under the 21 Hour rule ... no chance of balancing studying with caring ... in the case of the latter , a bar to enhancing employment prospects before the caring days cease.

( Receive the state pension and all future caring is FREE ??? )

Classic case of a caree , wheelchair bound , attending lectures with their carer ... both on the same course ... no student grants available.

NO reduction in his / her disability benefits for studying ... the carer would LOSE CA !

Discrimination through association ?

Carers UK have informed us that they still campaign for changes to the eligibility criteria ... 40 years and counting ?

" Must have been raised in the House at sometime over the years ? "

NO ... search Hansards ... as I do periodically for ANY mention of carers.

Whilst increasing CA will benefit around 780,000 family carers ( Latest figures ) , MILLIONS will benefit from the removal of the eligibility criteria ... one of the only " Benefits " that still discriminates against family carers !

Of the two , eligibility is more important ... and time for US to focus on that issue.

Expect a little sweetener in the Green Paper ... a rise in CA BUT ... a classic smoke and mirrors job given the level in 1980.

A rise ?

Double it ... treble it ... still counts as a insult for what we have to do as carers in 2018 !

Even then , still UNDER the Official Poverty Line ... based on income !

Just to add , don't lose sight of the FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT thread ... lower income carers need public transport in the absence of a car :

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... ndon-28026

Eligibility ... eligibility ... eligibility.

That is a number one priority IF anyone outside of CarerLand ... including our own supporting organisations ... should ever ask.
Whilst any increase that will benefit some carers is a 'start', how many years before we would see another action.

My concern is who will have the bottle to reform the benefit so it will benefit most/all carers. Past, and present governments, have continuously ignored the plight of carers, a group of people that give so much. Their Love, and the care they provide, taken for granted by those in power. My own award for biggest failure re carers would go to Iain Duncan Smith. He had the best opportunity to reform CA but ignored it completely.

from 2013
We are in the middle of the biggest shake up to the welfare system for over 60 years, changes that see many benefits changed/cut, support withdrawn, and yet the issues surrounding the LOWEST benefit of all were not addressed. Carers Allowance is just £59.75 and care must be provided to a minimum of 35 hours .

In the report Breakthrough Britain, by the Centre for Social Justice, a think tank of which Mr Smith is Chairman, they reported that…

Family carers are undervalued in our society and receive a disproportionately low level of financial support given the many hours of work that they do.

Carers of elderly and disabled people are not adequately resourced or recognized for the work they do
Yep ... par for the course , me thinks.

What is often a " Real concern " today is not tomorrow ... when now in power ?

" Not in the Party's interest at the moment. We will review in the future once the position is made clearer. "

Words , or variations thereof , uttered by politicos over the decades if not centuries.


Party interests or the genuine concerns of the electorate ?

You would be hard pressed to find a bookie willing to take a bet on that one !
I believe CA should be available to EVERYONE who cares.
Special arrangements should exist for carers who are caring for their disabled children.
They should have a "Right to Retire" i.e. the child should move to a home of his/her own home. (My GP has written to my LA telling them that I need to retire from caring)
ids is a front bottom .
On the eligibility front ... 21 Hour Rule ... and the comments of a Government minister some ten years and counting ago :
Carer's Allowance: incentives to work, study and volunteer


158. Carer's Allowance is withdrawn if a carer embarks on an educational course that entails more than 21 hours study per week. This rule has been much criticised by a number of organisations, as it creates a barrier to carers wishing to engage in education and training in order to update their skills with a view to entering or re-entering the labour market. A number of submissions called for those on Carer's Allowance to be exempt from this rule.[149]

159. Many carers report that their caring responsibilities necessitate training for a new form of employment. However, many vocational and academic courses only attract funding if the participant studies full time and within a particular timescale. This may be impossible for a carer.[150]

160. At present 16 and 17 year old carers can receive Carer's Allowance, but only if they are not in education for 21 hours or more a week, forcing them to choose between caring and being educated. Ms Redmond of Carers UK said: "The 21-hours study rule really should go. It does not make any sense at all. Why we should penalise people for studying I have no idea at all."[151]

161. Carerwatch added that many financially-assisted educational courses do not have Carer's Allowance on their list of qualifying benefits for reduced fees, making engaging in education unaffordable. A student in receipt of Income Support, which is paid at a higher rate than Carer's Allowance, will pay less than someone in receipt of Carer's Allowance.[152]

162. The Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, acknowledged that "We need to look at how we dismantle some of the barriers. If we want to encourage people into training and education, to build up skills, to move into the employment market, then we need to look at how some of the elements of our rules perhaps disadvantage people in that respect."[153]

163. Carers currently face a stark choice between engaging in education and training without any financial support or living on benefits. Many carers would be able to undertake education or training in addition to providing in excess of 35 hours of care per week. We recommend that the Department evaluates the effect of lifting the 21 hour study rule for carers on Carer's Allowance to enable carers to engage in education and training as a route into paid employment. We also recommend that the Department evaluates the effect of adding Carer's Allowance to the list of qualifying benefits for reduced education and training fees.

10 years on and ... not even a whisper since ... except for this thread ?

Where have our supporting organisations been over this period ?

Lobbying ?

Short for ... lob in bin ?
Another " Bible " to be added to our collection.

Parliamentary Briefing Paper on Carers Allowance ... 18 July 2018 ... in .pdf format.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... LT-s-DO9E1

Clicking on the link will ask you to open ... Adobe Reader recommended.

In essence , the most upto date and comprehensive document on CA there is ... without exception !

Brew some strong coffee and prepare yourself to read.

A lot of questions arise from this Report ... and a lot of answers are provided.

Now posted on several , current , interlocking threads.
Welcome to the REAL world of CarerLand !

Tim's comments mirror image many others dating back as far as 2005 ... when the very first forums came into existence ... the most notable one at that time being the PRT one ... now Carers Trust ... and boy , were the PRT " Surprised " by the anger and sheer venom of many postings ... and that was 13 years ago ... before Austerity !

Anyone reading this thread , that REPORT is a must read !

Much will be used in the forthcoming Green Paper or , perhaps ... given it's new street name ( Thanks to the small crew in communication off forum ) ... 101 DIFFERENT WAYS TO SCREW FAMILY & KINSHIP CARERS.

( One wag off forum ... " Only 101 ? " )

Perhaps SHAFT instead of SCREW ?

Offensive ?

Sure ... ask ANY family / kinship carer their views on the level of / exclusions from claiming Carers Pittance ... sorry ... Pittance.

Whichever ... The Street have spoken.


Chasms ... even CUK's own chairman , David Grayson , was a little taken back when I mentioned that word.

Chasms ... perceptions of as opposed to actual reality of ... CarerLand.

The only way to understand CarerLand is at street level ... period !

Next Roadshow ?

Leicester ... ideal opportunity ... mixed cultural community ... different food banks working together for the common cause ... UC rolled out in June ... what do the carers visiting the local food banks make of " Fairer for Carers " for instance ... provided they are told the full sp ?
Chris, I don't want to go too far off topic re your thread and CA, but I would be more for changing most of the eligibility criteria rather than just a rise. A real ( so called ) reform of the benefit.

As we move forward, and this all clashes with social care more, the situation is going to get far worse ( grannie sucking eggs).

I will use just one example for now, and that is purely due to it being a favourite of all political parties. Yet, choice for us still does not come in to it. That is the issue of working carers.

Even that is dependent on whether your caree qualifies for 'professional' help. In our area it has been known to take a few months to get carers assessments. Most are originally started with a phone call. If you pass that you will then get a visit but you have to wait some time. If the person you care for qualifies for support, then another process is started of getting hours and funding passed, then looking for care agencies. This just a rough guide, but shows just how much time can elapse from start to finish. No employer is going to hold a job for that long, had you been a successful applicant.
If you don't qualify for care services you don't have a cat in hells chance of going to work ( unless you are lucky enough to fully fund it).

I know you have covered other CA criteria problems across the forum. Nothing, but a full root and branch reform of CA, is going to be enough.

Yep .... no good a mere rise in CA ( 10 / 20 even 30 % ) WITHOUT removing the barriers in the first place.

The old numbers game ... 700,000 odd claiming CA ... millions more could claim IF the barriers are removed.

Even then , millions will still be below / at / close to the new Official Poverty Line !

In addition , watch out for a classic Government ploy ... deliver on CA and then continue to cutback on monies going to LAs ... thus reduce support services ... forcing more into caring as there is no alternative ... additional slave labourers being paid peanuts ... saving the LAs the cost of the minimum wage ... a saving of upto £ 7 per hour per former worker in some cases !!!

A real nasty twist could be to do NOTHING on CA and still go ahead in cutting funds to the LAs ... to achieve the same result !!!

... and then throw back at us ... " Caring is a choice , and you made it , you chose to care " ???

Assuming both are made so ( 100-1 still available ) , next stop MUST be support services ... out of the DWP and into the realm of the Ministry of Housing , Communities and Local Government ... new territory with their own way of doing things.

In short , LAs are currently responsible for delivering support services , lack of monies from Central Government cited as the main obstacle.

To make matters worse , a real post code lottery as to who gets what , how long and quality of services.

That's the next battleground.

How long on this battleground ?

Well , ever since 1976 ... when ICA ( CA in it's original form ) was introduced.

( See recent posting on the new Bible now available for the full sp since then. )

I envisage the next generation still on it in 10 / 15 years time.

For the time being , the Green Paper will be the next in timeline terms.

A step forward or ... two steps back.

1-10 on / 9-1 against ... odds in a two horse race.

No need to guess which is which.

Even 20-1 for three steps back !