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Fined by DWP for Carers Allowance? - Carers UK Forum

Fined by DWP for Carers Allowance?

All about money
Hi everyone,
I cared for my dad from Feb 2016 to end of July 2016 until he went into a care home so I could have respite from caring and it was after the birth of my daughter who had Group B Strep and was in hospital for a week, I was also suffering from various mental health problems including PND and anxiety.
I understood that there was a 12 week grace where I could still receive Carers Allowance whilst dad was in respite, however, he ended up sadly not coming home as the care support agency we used pulled out last minute leaving me with no care, therefore I couldn't cope solely on my own (my dad had a stroke and has very high care needs and I couldn't lift him by myself as he needs two carers, bless him) and there was no other care support available due to lack of supply and our remote area. I did notify them, however I have received a letter with a fine for £360 today for the Oct/Nov period? Should I challenge this? I am really confused, the last thing I would do is not inform them or be dishonest, in fact I notified them that I was no longer caring for dad Nov/Dec 2016 as even to this day my dad still wants to come back and I was afraid I would receive such a letter. I simply don't have the money upfront and didn't know I was doing anything wrong, now I am really stressed and anxious about the situation. Please nobody judge, I am already in a very difficult situation. Thanks in advance for your advice. :(
Hi Claire
I would challenge them. Others will be along with constructive advice. Sorry I can't be any more help.
You won't be judged I promise. Its a non judgemental forum and you will be supported all the way. You haven't done anything wrong. ((( hugs ))) to you at this difficult time.
Welcome Claire,

While I would encourage you to get in touch with your nearest branch of Citizens Advice, I would absolutely say yes to challenging this decision (a decision is just that, it does not mean they are right).

It would be a good idea to make a note of the information you provided in your original post (while it is fresh) so that you do not have to keep retyping/remembering the chain of events as stress affects the best of us and details go by the wayside.

Also make sure DWP understand just because agency staff come in to do some of the lifting you don't magically stop being your father's primary care giver, you still have to instruct them as well as organize/manage your fathers affairs on top of taking care of him when they aren't around.

Not that I am advocating this last part, but personally I would flip the situation on DWP and press them for maladministration/financial distress caused by a wrongful decision, and just warming up.

Don't pay a DWP a penny until you can speak to a reputable/qualified source (CAB, CUK etc) on how to proceed

Others will be along in good time, you know if there is anything else you can think of or even if you just want to chill out or vent we are here for you.

My only "judgement" is you are a wonderful daughter taking care of her pops :)

Best wishes and look after yourself
If you get Carer's Allowance for looking after another person, your benefit will stop when you move to live in a care home. ... If you were living in hospital before moving into the care home and payment of DLA, PIP or AA had already stopped, you will not be paid from the first day in the care home.
If the person you look after goes into hospital and you are no longer providing care for at least 35 hours a week, you can continue to get Carer's Allowance for up to 12 weeks or until their disability benefit stops.

Hi ClaIre ... CAB ? ... seconded ... they are the experts ... contact details :

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about ... ontact-us/

Let us know how you get on ... it will help others and add to our collective knowledge base.
Thank you everyone you for your kind and supportive advice. Currently up feeding my baby son and reading your advice. Will definitely challenge and complain about the decision. Unfortunately they sent the letter on a Saturday over bank holiday so I've 3 days of worrying and not being able to do anything!!!
Your welcome , Claire.
Hi everyone
I spoke to dwp today and apparently I'm only allowed 4 weeks respite despite the gov.uk website saying different. Was in tears at end of call and said I couldn't pay it I'm very confused. Explained everything but he said something about mandatory reconsideration. My mental health and anxiety makes things sometimes harder to understand.
spoke to dwp today and apparently I'm only allowed 4 weeks respite despite the gov.uk website saying different.

In which case , did you report a " Change in Circumstances " to the CA Unit ?

( Father in residential home temporarily ... did not meet CA criteria during that time he spent in there ? )

Any further information so that we can try to get to the root cause would be appreciated.

I know from my own caring days ...now more than a decade ago ... if I wanted a break from caring , I would lose CA if I
couldn't meet the minumum 35 hours qualifying time ... fat chance ... £ 15 per hour for someone to look after my mother
in my absence ???

Have the Rules changed since then ?

Did you take our advice and contact the CAB before speaking with the DWP ?

Please get in touch with Citizens Advice and tell us how you got on if you get the chance.
DWP are target focused and honestly do not give a fluff about the fallout of on claimants.
I'm fairly confident you would be seen as an urgent priority because you have an infant.

This can be fixed but you need to bring professional help in.
They can also make sure you are getting any additional support you may be entitled to as it is fairly standard for them to do an MOT on what you have coming in.

Best wishes