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Coronavirus - should carers allowance be increase - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Coronavirus - should carers allowance be increase

All about money
I think there should be an increase regardless of this virus!

I am a lone parent of two boys. My eldest was diagnosed with autism aged 3 (now 12) and my youngest (9) I have been trying to get help for for years! He was about to have the first meeting about gda referral yesterday hopefully leading to assessment for the PDA side of autism. At school my youngest is on 2 different IEP's to support his needs. One educational and one emotional!

Any way I now (like most) have both off school and we have been in self shielding officially since the 19th March but unofficially since the 15th of March for two of us (my youngest was ill with a stomach bug previous). Like most carers (dependant on age of the person we look after and their individual needs) we are now having no break or rest, being educators in school work and life skills as well as usual parental duties (in cases with children and young adults mostly), we are also coping with more mess, more demands, debt (in some cases not personally), stress, lack of sleep (I am averaging at 2 hours a day), personal anxieties (that we have to hide from those we care for as they have enough of their own), the list goes on.

Prior to this some people may have had respite or other help with the care needed. I always had meetings, appointments, etc but their school was my break from them even if in meetings about them lol. Now it is 24 hours including meltdowns and worse. All I can say is I am really glad I have a garden!

Carers should be increased! I have relatives who think my life is always plain sailing that I don't work! I do work just not in the ways they think and trained as a HELTA but cannot go out to work physically as I have to be on call for school, go to meetings, be there in the morning to get one son in a taxi and the other dressed and dragged to school because his demands stop him going, or he fights with his shoes! Then you have to be there at home time to meet the taxi, etc.

Life never stops for us! I am currently not enjoying the sun, nor am I catching up on tv (the opposite my box is filled with recordings I can't watch) and one of my kids even said I am like a slave and look like a hippo! Fantastic. Yes I see the humour but never has being a carer felt more isolating. Oh and I have to shield due to being at high risk.

Not a rant or wanting sympathy by any means. My kids are my world and I would rather we be safe than not here. They have no-one but me who understands them too so it is what it is. The Government should read these forums and see what life is really like and work out what they would pay a stranger (not that mine would go with one) to do what we do out of love!!
sunnydisposition wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:39 pm
Should the Government consider an increase to carers allowance. As many more carers now will be at home full time. Possibly unable to get others to help with caring duties. If getting nice food might be the only enjoyment. At least they could choose some nice luxury goods. Once the over purchasing hopefully dies down. Some pampering items etc.
Hi Sunnydisposition,

Thank you for raising this.

Following the release of our report Caring Behind Closed Doors: www.carersuk.org/closeddoors. We are calling for the government to increase carers allowance.

Hope this helps a bit, thanks.

Meg
Megan, this is a long running saga.

Have a look at CUK's records of the AGM in London, September/October 2004.

My motion was passed almost unanimously. NOTHING has happened since then.

In theory, we should be entitled to Direct Payments, especially when our carees already have an agreed budget, but the care in the care plan cannot be provided due to the Pandemic.

In effect, this means that the LA's are PROFITING from the pandemic!!
I contacted the LA to find out if it was possible for them to alter things, I was told that the money was all paid to the provider!! This is all clearly in breach of the Care Act.

Resolving this issue might be easier than asking the government to increase Carers Allowance.
However, a lot depends on what sort of benefits people are already receiving.
I am not in receipt of any benefit whatsoever, just receive my State Pension. So I get nothing from anyone whatever I do.

My health is poor after years of caring. At the beginning of Lockdown, I had an email telling me to go and get him asap, without any consideration as to whether I was able and willing. I explained I couldn't care for him non stop (just a weekend leaves me exhausted) so he is at his flat, receiving 28 hours a week less care than usual. He has the mental age of 3 in some respects, but is left alone at his flat without anyone to speak to, shouldn't go out by himself as he has poor road safety skills!!
Megan (Carers UK)

I've skimmed the report quickly..however I did not spot how much Carers UK are asking for Carers Allowance to be increased by - is it to the minimum wage or the living wage?

I would be interested to know - thanks
Cloudygal wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:10 pm
Megan (Carers UK)

I've skimmed the report quickly..however I did not spot how much Carers UK are asking for Carers Allowance to be increased by - is it to the minimum wage or the living wage?

I would be interested to know - thanks
Hi Cloudygal,

If you look on page 24 of the report, there is section on short term recommendations for the government including 'raise the level of Carer’s Allowance'

Hope this helps

Thanks :)
Hi Megan,

There needs to be a CLEAR TARGET for an increase.

Carers save the country millions, and it is time that we were all recognised. Those caring for 35 hours a week, the average working week, should get the MINIMUM WAGE, GUARANTEED HOLIDAYS.

This should apply to ALL CARERS, students and pensioners.

Some people are currently caring over 168 hours a week, as services have been withdrawn.

CARE ACT IGNORED
For those carees who have a personal budget, then if that cannot be used for the usual day services etc. it should be paid to family carers instead.
The Care Act says family carers can be paid, LA's refuse.

The government's COVID plans calls on authorities to be flexible about personal budgets, but there is no sign of any such flexibility where I live.
Hi Bowlingbun and Cloudygal,

I have passed your questions on the poilcy team and I will post their response when I hear back in the next few days.

Best wishes

Meg
Hi,

Our policy team share with me that we have just updated our Fairer for Carers page: https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campa ... for-carers. Below I have included some of the updates:

Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind at £67.25 per week (2020/21 rates). It is the main benefit for people caring unpaid for family or friends.
In the short term, we want Carer’s Allowance in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to be raised by at least £8.85, to match the changes being made in Scotland – due to the introduction of the Carer Supplement (which applies to Scotland only).
In the long term, Carers UK wants to see an increase in Carer’s Allowance and the Carer Premium (and associated premia) in the rest of the UK, rising annually with Government adjustments for inflation, so that carers living in all parts of the UK see an increase.
Carers UK is calling on the Government to address the financial hardship faced by many carers. Half of working age carers live in a household where no-one is in paid employment, and 1.2 million are living in poverty1.
It’s not fair that any carers in the UK face financial hardship due to their caring situation, or that carers receive different rates of financial support depending on where they live. This has been made even more difficult for carers during the coronavirus outbreak. Our research into the impact, Caring Behind Closed Doors, found that carers’ costs were rising, whilst their benefits are not keeping pace.
It’s time we made Carer’s Allowance #Fairer for Carers!


I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes,

Meg
That won't help me, as a pensioner not receiving carer premiums.
We want caring to be recognised as workers.
When my son has paid carers the council pays £15.50 for that care.
When I do things with my son that carers cannot do, but he likes to do, looking after our 10 ton steam engines, I get NOTHING!
The care act says M should be able to use his personal budget how he wants, but that means anyone but me!
So I miss out on all fronts!!!
BB

You are spot on. We should be recognised as workers because that's what we are.

I know that I for one (and others on here will feel the same) work a damm sight harder than when I had a paid job and I could clock off at 5 pm.

I had an evening then, a weekend, and holidays. Now I get none of that!

I'm afraid less than £9 per week wouldn't help me.