Carers allowance and earning over £102 (now £110) per week.

For information and discussion about benefits
69 posts
I've just started working for myself and I am a carer for my husband who sufferes with MS, a complicated desease with complicated issues. Mostly he's ok and functioning although of course disabled in lots of ways, but he's on the right cocktail of drugs and manages quite well, that though doesn't stop him needing me around as we all know to well.

I'm working as a pub cook purely part time and self employed which I started on the 29th of November last year, a busy time for hospitality so I did earn well over the £116 allowed. Despite that, I do like the flexibility that self employment, freelancing gives me which I wouldn't have if they had me on the books. I can also charge more and so do less hours. This works well in our current situation as I'm working whole hubby is resting or sleeping and I have my full days at home with him as I'm mostly working evenings and also all day Sunday as I do the roast. I can chop and change the hours though and I do work to suit his needs which is a great relief for me.

I have informed the DWP and they have suspended my careers allowance until I can return the forms they have sent. OK, that's fine and yes I do have a bit of an understanding of expenses etc such as travel, but what I do want to ask is how did anyone else get on in my situation? I'm considering which pension? Should I go out today and lease an electric car etc? Work clothes, tools, that kind of thing? Just how far do I go and what are the implications given that I'm not earning a full time wage but approximately £150 per week once things settle into a routine?

I've been offered an employed role but then that takes away that flexibility and I won't be able to charge travel expenses which will of course cost me just the same. I'd like to add that I do get offered the occasional shift elsewhere and I am a breath away from saying, you know what? Keep the careers to the DWP, but then again why should I?

Hello Viv

I'd suggest contacting the Carers UK Adviceline to discuss your options - they will be able to give you advice based on your own individual circumstances.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

Freephone: 0808 808 7777

Carers UK’s advice and information team based in London is undergoing staff changes. This means the Adviceline is closed Wednesday to Friday whilst we recruit and train new members of staff. We will be taking calls on Monday and Tuesday between 10am and 4pm. You can email or write to the Adviceline and we aim to respond to your enquiries within seven working days.

You can also get hold of useful advice, information and support online.
• Visit our Help and Advice sections of our website (, we have loads of information and downloadable factsheets on the topics people ask us about most.
• New to caring? Our Upfront guide will take you straight to the information you need to know. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
• And our volunteer-led Listening Support service will continue to take calls on Monday and Tuesday, 10am to 4pm.

We aim to return to our five-day a week service by 2nd January 2018.
If you can get hold of them on the phone that would be good, but unfortunately the lines are often oversubscribed and it can be difficult to get through so sending an email is often the better route to go.
Thankyou for your advice. I have tried several times to get in touch with them but they never answer. I will send an email, but I'd really like to chat with someone. It always seems to be we learn what we should of done only after we've done something completely wrong.
I believe you can email them and ask for a call back.

Hi ,
New to the forum but I could do with some help , I am a carer already for my partner and thinking about going back to work, I took voluntary redundancy back in Feb 2017 so nearly 12 months ago and we have being living off my redundancy money since then. My money is now running very low hence going back to work maybe part time, Where do I stand if working for an agency ? Re tax etc and paying money into a private pension fund ?
Also can I claim an other benefits as it seems a mine field ? Having worked for the last 40 years I know nothing of what I can claim or what to do . I am 56 and have another 10 years before I can claim a state pension but I do have a fair amount in a personal pension plan and I have an old works pension plan, it seems to me that the government want me to use this money to fund our lives before pension age when I have worked for this all my life to provide money later in life.
Hi Neil

I can only give you the same advice that I gave Viv above and that is to contact the Carers UK Adviceline team - they will be able to give you up-to-date, confidential expert advice based on your own individual circumstances and should be your first port of call.

Everyone's circumstances are different, forum members are generally not benefits experts and can only give advice from their own experience.
Benefits are a bit like Snakes and ladders, some are means tested, others are not. If your caree is entitled to certain disability benefits, and you claim Carers Allowance, you may not be required to work, and that's just a few issues. Email the helpline and they will go through it all with you. Don't delay, do it asap!
I'm not sure where in the forum is the right place to post this, but this seems like the right place.

I don't receive Carer's Allowance. I'm a self employed fine artist and illustrator, although since I became a carer, I feel more than ever Imposter Syndrome (For the uninitiated, Imposter Syndrome is a condition that artists get, due to a feeling that we don't belong in the arts world, that we're not true artists - it's not helped by lay people telling us to "get a proper job", and the low pay / no pay in the arts world).
I was working on a graphic novel - for as much time as I had spare between PIP applications and bureaucracy.
Anyway, I receive Working Tax Credits.

I've noticed that if I were to apply for a job as a Residential & Community Support Worker ... rs8-12-17/ doing exactly the same sort of work that I do all the time for my depressed son, the salary would be £7.58 per hour, with other benefits such as holiday pay, pension, ongoing training and development etc.

So why are carers not automatically given the same allowances for doing the same job 24-7 for our own family??
Helen, this is a very touchy subject for many of us. As I'm retired, I don't get anything at all, as CA and the Pension are both classed as "income substitutes" and you can only have one. So how come as I'm getting older and caring is more difficult, I get the same amount whether or not I am a carer?!?!
69 posts