DWP meeting for carers allowance

All about money
Hi everyone

My wife just had a meeting with dwp and is now very stressed, I'm trying to gather information to help calm her down.

My wife claims careers allowance as my son has additional needs.

1. Towards the end of last year my wife started working and was paid £520 a month this is ok isn't it?
2. She went abroad for a weekend without my son should she have informed them?
3. If we go abroad as a family for a summer holiday do we have to inform them?

Thanks
Andy
Hi Andy ... welcome to an extremely quiet forum

In answer to the questions raised.

1. Earning £ 520 per month last year and claiming Carers Allowance.

IF average out ... £ 520 times 3 divide by 13 ... £ 120 per week ... which equalled the limit in the last tax year.

The maximum amount one could earn in order to retain Carers Allowance.

However there is a problem ... an extract from the recent session on the forum with the CUK Advice Team wherein I raised
the question of AVERAGING as several other posters had reported problems :

Hi there, thanks for your post. It definitely can feel very complicated trying to deal with the benefit system and irregular earnings.

For Carer’s Allowance if you earn over the earnings limit of £123 PW (if you get paid weekly) or £533 pcm (if you get paid calendar monthly), you cannot be paid any Carer’s Allowance for the following week/month.

( Last tax year ... ended 5 April 2019 ... weekly £ 120 / monthly £ 520. )

There is no taper of payable benefit. Therefore if a person is usually under the limit but has the odd occasion over the limit, they would need to let the Carer’s Allowance Unit know in good time, and they could stop benefit for the next week/month – restarting it when they get information that once again the carer is earning under the limit.

Variable income

However if earnings fluctuate regularly the Carer’s Allowance Unit at the DWP may average them out over a recognisable cycle of work or over five weeks, but this would need to be arranged in advance with them. The Carer’s Allowance Unit use the Decision Makers Guide to help them work this out.

From the Decision Makers Guide :

Averaging of amounts

The weekly amount of a person’s income from earnings may be averaged if the income varies or the regular pattern of work means that the claimant does not work every week.

The Decision Maker should average over

1. a complete cycle if there is a recognisable cycle of work or
2. five weeks or
3. another period if this means a more accurate weekly amount can be calculated.

( ????????? ... if paid regularly every month , why not quarterly ... every quarter contains a 5 week period !!!!!! )

The averaging of the weekly amount does not change the other rules on the treatment of earnings such as the date that they are treated as paid. This means that earnings should only be averaged where the claimant is actually in receipt of a payment.


Therein lies the problem ... are they arguing 2 and not 3 as above ??????????????

I would email the CUK Advice Team for confirmation ... advice@carersuk.org ... quoting both this thread and the Benefit Session one for background :


https://www.carersuk.org/forum/social-a ... ging%20out


( I have sent them a separate email ... a recurring theme ... needs to be clarified ... if monthly paid , why not averaged out
quarterly ... common sense but ... let's see what transpires ... it's the DWP we are dealing with here . )


Lets us know how you get on ... it will add to our collective knowledge at forum level.

Questions 2 and 3 ?

No in both instances ... provided that the criteria for claiming Carers Allowance is met ... a minimum of 35 hours.

If you son accompanies you , the caring angle continues ?

What caused your wife's anquish in the meeting with the DWP ?

Their interpretation of what has been spelt out above ???
She found him aggressive and she went in thinking she was doing everything by the book he made her feel like she was cheating the system

1. She was earning too much and he would take her off the benefit ( she earns 520 each month starting July last year)
2. She had to phone them whenever she went abroad and had broken the rules by not phoning them before going away for the weekend
3. She now needs to complete an additional form and provide all her pay slips from last year in the next 2 weeks
Thanks Andy.

As i mentioned , I have already alerted the CUK Advice Team ... ongoing AVERAGING issues ... to expect your email.

( I do not understand the answer to question 2 given by the DWP ... 35 hours caring is the crieria ... even a few carers
still get time off ... and ... not necessary just for good behaviour ??? )


Question 3 ...ties in with question 1 and ...most probably , the whole issue of averaging ... hence the CUK Advice Team !

( There are several ways to earn in excess of the £ 123 / £ 533 limits ... and still retain Carers Allowance ... marshalling ...
more on that if needed. )
Phoning them when she went away for the weekend???

That's a new one on me too!
Yes if she ever leaves the country she has to phone them!
So the form my wife signed says "I understand I must inform the department of my intention to go on holiday in advance" is this correct?
I presume a " Change of circumstances " being triggered :

You must report changes in circumstances if you’re claiming or have applied for Carer’s Allowance, for example if:

you change, start or leave your job.

you start earning more than £123 a week.

you stop being a carer.

you stop providing at least 35 hours of care a week.

you take a holiday or go into hospital - even if you arrange care while you’re away.

the person you care for goes into hospital or takes a holiday.


Yep ... I knew of it's existence but ... having been on various carer forums over 15 years , the first time I can recall that condition being mentioned by anyone.

I just wonder how many readers claiming CA comply with that condition ?

( Around 800,000 claim CA ... less than ... 100 ? * See the next bit. )

An extract from another part of this web site ... CUK on taking a break :

Taking a break

You can take a break from caring for any reason for up to four weeks in every 26 weeks and still be paid Carer’s Allowance. You must have been providing 35 hours or more of care a week for at least 22 of the past 26 weeks (up to eight weeks of a stay in hospital for either you or the person you are looking after can be included in the 22 weeks. The person you have been caring for must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for that period.

Carer’s Allowance will continue to be paid for up to 12 weeks if you go into hospital. You must have been providing 35 hours or more of care a week for at least 14 of the past 26 weeks. The person you care for must have been in receipt of a qualifying benefit for that period.

Note that Carer’s Allowance will stop if your total breaks add up to more than 12 weeks in the past 26 weeks.

Travelling abroad

You can continue to be paid Carer's Allowance for a temporary period whilst you are abroad if you meet all of the following conditions:

you go abroad with the person you look after.

he/she continues to receive a qualifying disability benefit (likely to be a maximum of 26 weeks).

the purpose of your trip is to look after them.

In any other circumstances you can continue to be paid Carer's Allowance for up to four weeks as long as you have not had more than four weeks break from caring in the last 26 weeks. You may have had up to a further eight weeks break from caring in the last 26 weeks if the reason for the break was because you or the person you care for were in hospital.


Strange ... CUk are providing more information than is available on the DWP web site ???

I trust someone from CUK are monitoring this thread ... it's getting confusing !
Does that mean you have to inform DWP when your caree goes to respite? Why would you have to tell DWP if you leave your job? Both of these apply in my case, I wonder if I should tell them now!!
Can do no harm ?

Inform them , not needed.

Don't inform them , possible repercussions.

2 horse race ... I know on which one my monies will be placed ?