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Attendance Allowance / PIP / DLA / SDP : Paid To Family Carer ? There Are " Problems " NOT Advertised ! - Page 3 - Carers UK Forum

Attendance Allowance / PIP / DLA / SDP : Paid To Family Carer ? There Are " Problems " NOT Advertised !

All about money
Synchronise with the main DIRECT PAYMENTS thread.

Synchronise with the main DIRECT PAYMENTS thread.
Please to record a mini explosion in " Reads " ... over 300 since kicking this Issue upstairs.

Not a nice one for CUK ... complicated , and involves more than one Government agency.

Still , beyond important for any family / kinship carers directed affected by it.

Diarise forward.
Stop press !

Reply received from the DWP to my email sent on 22 June.

My email / their reply follow :

Hi ... an odd one but may effect hundreds of thousands.

Elderly person in receipt of Attendance Allowance ( AA ).

A son / daughter lives with them as a family carer ... and is paid Carers Allowance ( CA ).

If the Caree ( Elderly person ) elects to " Pass over " the AA ... as a gift or even an informal payment ... to the Carer , does this create any problems from the following angles :

1. Carer ... should these monies be declared to HM Revenue and Customs as income ?

2. Carer ... IF claiming any income related benefits , should these monies be declared so that the level of other benefits are reduced to take into account the additional income ?

3. Carer / Caree relationship ... under Direct Payments ( DP ) , a Caree cannot " Employ " a family member to care ... creates an employer / employee relationship ... the very last thing any Government would accept ... a family carer also a worker and , as such , everything associated with Employment Law ???

Paying AA over ... same consideration ? ... or something not apparent with any Internet search when trying to nail down the difference ... monies are being paid over , one under DPs , the other under AA.

Practically , the AA monies do " Change hands " ... either to meet joint or sole expenditure faced by carers and their carees when living together under one roof ... in essence , a partnership , akin to husband and wife ... especially so when there is only one carer and one caree ... I type from my own experience as a lone carer.

Ideally , a straight YES and NO type flow chart would be on the Internet somewhere which would be a blueprint for both carers and their carees to follow ... I have yet to locate one.

AA ... fairly modest amount but ... with hundreds of thousand claiming it , and roughly the same number of family carers caring for them ... a sizeable amount ... moving from one person to another ... with no " Rules " as to which Government departments should be aware of potential " Illegalities " being made by , potentially , innocent people ... no knowledge of the law pertaining to the use of AA.

Any assistance to resolve the above " Irregularities " would be most welcomed.

The very last thing any Carer , and / or , their Caree want is to be confronted with a challenge to their normal practice ... either the HM Revenue and Customs / DWP / LA etc. etc.

ps. I have mentioned AA ... same practice may be widespread for PIP ???

Thank you for your recent correspondence, raising issues arising from Government policies which are the responsibility of this Department. Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and they are unable to reply personally on every occasion. I have been asked to respond and I apologise for the reply.

It may help if I explain that Attendance Allowance is intended to help those with a severe disability who have long term care or supervision needs where those needs arise after reaching State Pension age (currently 65). Entitlement to Attendance Allowance is based on the on-going need for frequent personal care and attention, or supervision to ensure personal safety, rather than on the individual’s medical condition.

It is paid out of general taxation and is a tax-free, non-contributory, and non-means-tested benefit so is not affected by other income or savings.

You offer a number of scenarios concerning Attendance Allowance. However, neither Ministers nor officials in this Department can speculate on an individual’s future position, nor can we offer personal opinions on hypothetical situations.

( Agreed but ... it is happening every day in real life situations ... hundreds of thousands are potentially at risk if the DWP / HM Revenue and Customs cry foul ! )

Claimants have a statutory duty to notify the Department of any change in their circumstances which they could reasonably be expected to know might affect their entitlement to benefit, or the amount of benefit they receive.

( Claimants = our caree ... what is the position of the carer as there will be a " Change of circumstances " if monies pass from caree to carer ??? )

Information on benefits is also available on the Government website at www.gov.uk. This is the best source of information for anybody concerned about what might be available given their particular circumstances. It provides the widest range of online information regarding help from the Government, with sections on financial support, disability rights, employment and much more. The website has been designed to allow people to find the information they are looking for in a way that is simple, fast and clear.

( AA ... Quoting CUK themselves ... " There are no restrictions on how you can spend your Attendance Allowance, and you do not have to spend it on paying for the care that you need. However, your council or trust can take Attendance Allowance into account when calculating how much you might need to pay for any care services you receive. " ... SILENT on my point ! )

There you have it folks ... a reply that is no reply at all !

Just a couple of hints which lead ... precisely where ?

Good luck to Carers UK ... this is what you'll also be facing !!!

If the DWP do NOT response to their scenario . what's nest ... a legal opinion ( Clifford Chance ... even our friendly neighbourhood Prof ... Luke Clements ) ?

Even then , just an opinion , yet to be tested in a Court of Law ?

Base one's advice to 7.8 million of us ... on an opinion ???

Never ending circles ...
A nudge to get this Issue back into the frame for all readers.
Time to keep this one in mind given the potential repercussions.
Just caught up with recent posts, it is clear from the "non reply" that the author hasn't got a clue!

However, with the recent Witch Hunt against those receiving CA who have inadvertently fallen foul of rules, surely the DWP can give a straight Yes or No to the hypothetical examples?

Personally, I believe that most carers being given a contribution from AA would only be getting their expenses for caring. Mileage for example is now charged out by my son's carers at 45p a mile. That's £4.50 for every 10 miles, or £45 for every £100.

A round trip to my son's flat and back is 60 miles.
Yep ... most would agree with that.

I could have attempted to get a more positive reply but ... a mere prole ?

Hence kicking it upstairs to CUK where , in all honesty , the said problem should have been identified , and answers sort to protect all carers , aeons ago !

Problem is ... untaxed income being received by the carer.

What's the TaxMan's view ?

Needs to be declared ... cash in hand ?

Carers ... also claiming income related benefits ?

DWP ... change in circumstances ... income is one that needs reporting.

See the problem ?
Having run a small business for many years, I know the difference between "income" and "expenses".

So, for example, if I took a caree on a 100 mile journey @ 45p a mile (HMRC used to have an agreed mileage rate somewhere around this figure, but it may have changed, I know for sure it's the current rate used by the care agency my son uses) then it would be perfectly right for the caree to pay me £45. That is NOT income, but payment for the mileage and wear and tear.

There is no Income Tax liability for this money.

However, someone would need to keep a clear mileage record in order to prove this to any determined DWP official, if there was evidence of the money changing hands.

HMRC allows small business to claim for heating, lighting, and laundry in relation to the business. How many carers doing washing for their caree know this?

I'm NOT suggesting that carers become small businesses as far as their carees are concerned, we need that like a hole in the head, but what we need from HMRC and DWP is some clear guidance from them about what we can and cannot do, before this becomes another Witch Hunt.

I'm also throwing in the PARTNERSHIP angle ... lone carer / caree ... unlike a husband
and wife , NOT treated as a partnership by either the TaxMan nor the DoleMan.

Full sp on that argument earlier in this thread.

That really would open up a whole warehouse full of cans of worms !

No caree ? No carer ... simples ?