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Tristram Hunt,MP. -Carers UK Forum

Tristram Hunt,MP.

All about money
A few caveats,as they say.
I've just been talking to an aide at Mr.Hunt's office,not the man himself,and the conversation was generally about our own rather peculiar circumstances.
However,from the beginning,when he described Carer's Allowance as "money you get for your son's care" I felt that there was a lack of understanding.
When I said that we needed help for heating Owen's room,he strongly advised me that "That money's for your son to spend,not you",and asked me why I felt it was necessary for me to be paid for caring for someone who is my own offspring.
Charmlessly,he wanted to carry out an over-the-phone means test,to see if I really needed the money.

Apparently,Mr.Hunt contacted the council over this in December last year.They have not responded,nor has he chased them up.

In theory,I could get quite fed-up with this attitude...
There's a word for him that rhymes with his name... (admins delete if you must lol)
I have to stress that I didn't talk to TH himself today.
We had the same trouble in 2013 and after getting turned down by by both my councillor and Mr.Hunt,I successfully appealed to the Ombudsman,who ruled that we should have 2 days worth of DLA paid here each week,for the days my son's at home.'Chris' was unwilling to accept my word for that,and I have to find the ruling.(Which is online somewhere).

That online definition of CA really is a nuisance...
I take it back, his aide is...also.
Hm.When he started saying it a third time,I asked him to slow down so that I could write it down.He clammed up.
I've had a reply.I note that he will not accept that the Local Government Ombudsman made a ruling in our favour in 2013 (the council had blocked both CA and DLA for two years.I don't know why) until he sees documentary evidence.Trusting fella.
Here we go:

Secondly, I must take issue with your misquotation of our phone conversation. At no point did I utter the words "because he's your son,after all.Why do you want money to look after him?", nor did I claim that “parents ought not to claim DLA” and nor did I claim that CA was “money you get for looking after Owen”. I would greatly appreciate it if you did not misquote me and mischaracterise what I said- my colleague was sat across from me at my desk during our phone conversation and can corroborate the words I spoke. As I am sure you will agree, it is important that we communicate clearly and do not attempt to misrepresent the views of those we wish to work with to ensure Owen receives the best possible care available to him.

Thirdly, I must take issue with your characterisation of Carers Allowance as a supplement to your income that is not in any way meant to contribute towards the two nights a week you care for your son. CA is a benefit paid to those who provide a minimum of 35 hours care per week to an individual who is disabled and in receipt of DLA, PIP etc. While I agree with you that “it is not money for the person being looked after”, I would point out that it is meant cover the costs of caring for that individual that you yourself incur. It is also not a payment from the state for you to care for an individual on the state’s behalf.

You stated in your email of Sunday 30th November 2014, regarding your entitlement to Carers Allowance, to Councillor Jackie Barnes that: “The allowance is mine, and is intended to supplement my earnings, so that I have an income necessary for my needs… the allowance is not intended to be used for feeding Owen, or to heat his room, or pay the bedroom supplement for his room. Owen has his own income.” This is a mischaracterisation of the purpose of Carers Allowance- from a benefit intended to assist your care responsibilities, to that of an income supplement.

As you have quoted in your email the DWP’s own website, please allow me to do likewise: “Carer’s Allowance is £62.10 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.” (https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview , 1st June 2015, Department for Work & Pensions) The DWP is quite clear on the purposes of Carers Allowance.

Finally, Tristram shall be pursuing the outstanding response from Stoke-on-Trent City Council to his December 2014 correspondence and shall inform you as soon as he receives it.

With regards to your question regarding Labour Party policy relating to Carers Allowance, I can answer emphatically: no it is not.

Me again...All I know is that CA helps me cope.Not having it for the last 18 months-the council say that I have to use CA in place of DLA to provide for my son's care for the days he's with me each week-has hurt.
Today is six months-half a year-since Mr.Hunt sent an email to the council on my behalf and we're still waiting for a reply.
The situation now is:
My sons' social worker won't reply to my emails.(And I'm not bombarding her-something like three in the last three months).
The council's finance person who handle's my sons' financial affairs will not communicate with me.
The council's complaints manager will not communicate with me,following my failure to attend the meeting he arranged.
My one-and-only councillor hasn't replied to my email of (again) December 2014...Well,you get the picture.
Now,I admit that I'm given to sarky witty/bitter emails to these people,though I tend to start that sort of thing after about two years of frustration...

So...I haven't got a solicitor,and may even have run out of Legal Aid.I've tried to get in touch with the Ombudsman's office but have had (you've heard this one before) no reply in a few weeks.The question is: How much is this down to me,and how much is it the curse of Stoke-on-Trent?
I've just read a message from the squirt who answers Tristrum Hunt's emails/handles constituency affairs in Stoke (though he gets ninety thousand a year for being a member,Hunt only works part-time as an MP,having other occupations).
He asks for a copy of the DWP letter,being unwilling ,it appears,to accept my word that Carer's Allowance is for carers,and that I've had a letter to that effect from the DWP.
Charming,isn't it?
I've just received this from Tristrum Hunt's office:

hank you for your further email regarding your ongoing dispute with Stoke-on-Trent City Council regarding financial support from Social Care services for your son Owen and your refusal to acknowledge the correct purpose of Carers Allowance (CA).

Firstly, I feel I should point out that, with reference to your email of 13th July 2015, you have refused to provide me with a copy of the letter from the Department for Work & Pensions that supposedly supports your mischaracterisation of Carers Allowance (CA); as I have previously quoted the DWP regarding this matter: “Carer’s Allowance is £62.10 a week to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs.” (https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/overview , 1st June 2015, Department for Work & Pensions) I really don’t see the point in arguing this issue any further with you and shall no longer address it in any future emails as I have made it quite clear that you are mistaken about this matter and you are just wasting both of our time now.