DLA/Carers Allowance.

All about money
I have just read this:

[ If you are on DLA yourself then that will also offer you a protection as you will then come under disabled person in your own right (although you should know that the Government has also decreed that you CANNOT claim both Carers Allowance AND disability benefits from April either - you need to choose - either be a carer OR disabled!)]

I know that there may be people here who receive both,I can't find any information on the DirectGov site, perhaps Carers UK could let us know whether this is correct.Thank you.

We're just redoing our 'Frequently Asked Questions' on the changes to benefits, following the publication of the 'regulations' (more detailed rules and structures of the new benefits being introduced) - so we're just working out what has changed since the Government published 'draft regulations' last year.

So I'll try and answer here but will cover this in more detail when the FAQs is published on our website.

The quote you included is half right, but I think it confuses DLA and Employment & Support Allowance.

You probably know most of the detail below anyway but the answer might not make sense without the background and I'll include it anyway for anyone else reading!

DLA (being replaced by Personal Independence Payment) is seen as an 'extra costs' payment - it is designed to cover the higher bills and living costs faced by disabled people and isn't related to their ability to work. So people might get it if they are working or if they are unable to work, and the idea is that it pay for higher heating bills, extra equipment, taxis to hospital etc.

But Employment & Support Allowance is an 'income replacement' benefit - designed to give an income to people who are unable to work or have a limited ability to work as a result of disability or ill-health. This is being replaced by Universal Credit and the structure of Employment & Support Allowance will be replicated with a similar structure in Universal
Credit (there will be two elements - one for people unable to work and one for people who are seen to be able to start looking for work but are still given some help, like the Support Group and Work-Related Activity Group of Employment & Support Allowance).

As you'll know, often disabled people will receive both DLA and Employment and Support Allowance - the former to cover 'extra costs' and the latter is supposed to cover income from work as they are not able/less able to work. But the difference between how these two benefits are seen is important.

Firstly, although the Government is making a lot of changes as they replace DLA with Personal Independence Payment, people will still be able to receive Carer's Allowance and DLA/PIP at the same time if they are disabled. That isn't changing. People will also still be able to get DLA/PIP and Employment & Support Allowance/Universal Credit at the same time. These two categories of benefits 'extra costs' and 'income-replacement' are seen as separate so they don't conflict with each other.

The change comes within Employment & Support Allowance/Universal Credit.

Currently disabled or ill carers are able to receive Employment and Support Allowance and, as with other means-tested benefits (like Income Support), carers can get a 'carer premium' on top of Employment and Support Allowance (currently an extra £32.60 on top of the basic amount of Employment & Support Allowance, or Income Support etc).

Under Universal Credit there will be 'elements' to replace the carer premium and Employment and Support Allowance. So a carer might get the basic Universal Credit amount and a 'carer element' on top. Or a disabled person might get the basic Universal Credit amount and a 'limited capability for work element' on top. I should also say that the same issues will apply as with Income Support, in that carers won't get Universal Credit on top of Carer's Allowance - it will still be deducted off it.

The change, which I think your quote applies to, is that under Universal Credit, claimants will only be able to receive either the limited capability for work element (replacing Employment & Support Allowance) or the carer element. They won't be able to get both. The Government's explanation for this change is that you can only use one reason why you are unable to work, not both at once to get two elements. In short, 'if you are too ill to work you can't also be caring' - you are one or the other.

We have said over and over again that we completely oppose this change. It fails to recognise the reality of people's lives - that many disabled people are carers and that many carers are made ill by caring without support. We have repeatedly briefed MPs and Peers about it, submitted evidence to consultation responses, raised it in meetings with Dept and Work and Pensions and provided case studies trying to explain to Government this complete misunderstanding of how life works for many families. However I'm afraid it is going ahead.

So basically people will still be able to get DLA/PIP alongside either Carer's Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance/Universal Credit, but they won't be able to get the two 'elements' inside Universal Credit - which is likely to have a substantial impact on their incomes.

A long explanation but does that, at least, make it clear - even if it is not good news?

Carers UK
Thank you for this Steve.
I am a manifesting carrier of DMD, have thalidomide damage,Type 2 diabetes and a faulty heart valve. I get DLA at top rate for care and mobility and also carers allowance. How dare those tw*ts say you can't be disabled and also care. There was also a guy who used to go to a group I went to a few years back who was blind, a wheelchair user and cared full time for his wife who had dementia.

I am disabled my husband gets carers for looking after me , he also gets an added extra amount on his carers for me, his money is topped up with income support.with carers and disabilaty premiums. I get DLA only. We are a married couple, I don't get any other benefit. So will we loose one of these premiums ? thanks Angel
Hi Angel and welcome

It is probably best if you contact Carer Uk direct with your query, here are the details

They don't usually answer benefit queries on here and I would hate to see you slip through the net! Please note that there is a 5 day delay before they can respond to emails, hope you get the answer you need though.
Thank you for the reply. Image
I am a manifesting carrier of DMD, have thalidomide damage,Type 2 diabetes and a faulty heart valve. I get DLA at top rate for care and mobility and also carers allowance. How dare those tw*ts say you can't be disabled and also care. There was also a guy who used to go to a group I went to a few years back who was blind, a wheelchair user and cared full time for his wife who had dementia.

Are you getting the compensation award for thalidomide damage? Its a bit of a lottery, isnt it? But it is very unusual]Distillers (Biochemicals) Ltd was taken over by Guinness in the l980s. In 1995 Guinness promised a further £37.5 million payable over a period of 15 years, in order to enable the Trust to continue to make payments to beneficiaries for the whole of their lives, and the Government gave a further £7 million to offset tax on the corresponding benefits.

In June 2000, Diageo promised to extend the current payments of £2.5 million per year from 2009 to 2022, when the average age of thalidomide impaired people will be 60. [/quote]
Regrettably Scally I get no compensation award because the damage was caused by Debendox which is a specific type of Thalidomide and not covered. There are not as many of us so no-one to fight for us. In the UK the manufacturers of the drug - Merrell Dow (who will not admit liability that the drug causes birth defects) decided to pay nothing to the families of those damaged by the morning sickness drug but 450 children damaged by it in the USA did get some compensation, although not a great amount.

I'm wondering if CUK have any facts or figures about the number of people who are caring for others whilst receiving DLA themselves? I know that the census showed up a huge increase in the total number of carers, and I'm sure there was a question about health issues, so maybe, just maybe, the census could demonstrate what we need to know? If so, then it would be easy for CUK to take this up on our behalf using the government's own statistics. Whilst I was on DLA, hobbling around on two excrutiatingly painful knees, damaged in a road accident, I was also caring for my son with SLD and my elderly frail mum.