Irregular Earnings and Carers Allowance

All about money
When I originally applied for Carers Allowance my earnings were variable for a few of the previous months. From October onwards I have cut my work hours to ensure that I full under the earnings limits for Carers Allowance. I am paid monthly and therefore they have 7 payslips and the last 5 are under the earnings threshold.

I received a letter dated 24th Feb which suggested I shall need to provide further payslips over the next three months and a review done after 13/05/2016. A few days later I receive another letter stating we have looked at your case and will start direct payments from the 29/02/2016.

All been well until this morning when I have no payment of carers allowance. Subsequent phone call and call-handler states that system issued letter in error and that I have to forward the three payslips after the 13/05/2013.

It's very frustrating as its stressful enough caring without worrying if they are going to continually move the goalposts so to speak.

I don't subscribe to the computer error theory.

The system should be robust enough for purpose. With definitive statements when you are going to receive payments. If it's 3 months state that from the outset don't began payments then pause them.

Is it worth writing to seek clarification and a review or is it a futile exercise.
Hi Gordon
You can 'reduce' your earnings to the appropriate amount by paying into a pension and there are other things that you can pay for/claim against earnings so that your 'take home' is the correct amount to continue CA. There is information on this site in the help and advice section on the home page, look under financial and click on carers allowance. Scroll down the page to where it tells you how you can 'reduce' your earnings. Recent posts also have advice from clever people who know how.
Elaine
The DWP people are very dogmatic and literal, so the best thing to do is never earn above £110 a week after allowances and deductions. Half of pension payments count as deductions, and so do monthly work related costs such as my 3 year lease on a lovely electric Nissan Leaf car that I need for work, which comes with heated steering wheel, heated leather seats, and all-round cameras to help with parking, an absolute essential, lol. It costs me 3p a mile to charge up overnight, zero road tax, no servicing costs, and I get paid a mileage rate of ten times that, which does not count as income for CA purposes, and is not taxable either. So it earns me money in lots of ways, as well as being incredibly cool and not damaging the environment.
I also have found that over the age of 55, I can claim back my pension pot in small lump sums whenever I want, with a tax advantage, so my pension is really a totally legal money laundering scheme.
Make Hay whilst the sun shines ... I earned £90 today in five hours work: after tax and NI, half of that goes into the People's pension scheme, and I can claim it all back next month if I choose to do so, with an extra 5% bonus on top. And pension lump sums do not count as income, for CA purposes. (but keep them small and frequent to avoid paying the higher rate of income tax on them, under £2,000 or so per month is fine, don't be greedy) It is a no-brainer, a license to work and make money.
As I often say, I didn't make the silly rules up ... I just bothered to read the small print.
Thanks for the replies.

My earnings the last six months have fallen below the threshold. It was just the first payslips I had to supply as proof of earnings that were over their earnings limit. I now ensure that my pay is below the £110 a week or £440 four weekly threshold. It's the system that's the issue in regards to it not being able to see a pattern regarding my ongoing earnings.

It's the stop-start way of receiving that's the issue.

In my opinion it should operate in cohesive manner with either payments rigidly every week, every month or every quarter etc. Not the confused manner that results in causing undue stress and annoyance.
After 2 and a half years of being an irregular earner they have finally seen the light and decided my earnings are always below the limit each month and have decided to pay me 4 weekly without having to submit pay slips, and just advised to tell them as and when I go over the limit. This month I allowed myself a £20.00 safety net in my calculation and this morning have realised that I will get double pay for Good Friday and so my safety net has vanished and I am right up to the wire but still below- phew. It is such a pain having to calculate things job by job as some jobs are longer than others and evenings and weekend work and bank a holidays all have different rates so I can't say to employer I want ten hours of work a week, I am forever contacting them saying I have too much work. They are trying to be helpful but I think I am trying their patience when it comes to work rotas.
It's a minefield which takes diligence to ensure you meet their criteria.
Gordon_1603 wrote:It's a minefield which takes diligence to ensure you meet their criteria.
It really is, but that's life.