New. Monthly earnings vs Weekly earnings. Confusion!

For information and discussion about benefits

Let me start by saying "hello" . I'm very new to this and thought I had it all figured out. Then, I got an email offer of a 'one time' job thing.

I'm a chef and had to let go of my job due to hours and such about a year and a half ago when we first got the autism diagnosis for my little one. She's always taken a lot of extra care, and to be honest, this was a relief. Doing two full time jobs isn't exactly easy even if the one of them is taking care of your "challenging child".

So, we've gotten the DLA thing sorted and I applied for carers allowance at around the end of May (we re about 3 weeks into the time). I requested to be paid weekly and accepted the 116£/week limit.

The other day though, I received an email which has caused me to rethink this. I called up the carers allowance people and was told the following:

" (paraphrased) if I requested to be paid weekly, then my earnings would be calculated as the weekly total of 116£ applies. But, if I request to receive carers allowance monthly, then a different calculation applies--I can make 502£/month and this is calculated monthly--not weekly. But, I have to submit a new claim because once the claim goes through, I can't change it."

This is very relevant (or could be) in my situation but I wanted to check with folks who may gave done this before making the change.

The position I was emailed about, is from a guy who runs a business basically like a hiring agency for temp chef work. So, the pay for this particular gig would be 13/hr for one weekend...Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 till 10. ( So roughly 312£ before deductions for the 3 days.). It would be my only income for the month of June and there for, be under the amount allotted for a monthly time frame. But, it would be in excess of the weekly amount so if my claim was requested to be paid weekly, this would make me ineligible despite having no other income.

For those with a logical brain out there, this might seem like a no brainer, but I'm struggling here. I was advised to either resubmit the application...wait another 8 plus weeks and request monthly payments or keep things as they are and not accept this type of work.

Thing is, is I'm more likely to be able to come up with the odd weekend job here and there, than find something steady for 1 day a week...and, from what it appears, the monthly option gives me more freedom with regards to finding additional work to caring.

The other questions I had concerned child care because obviously, I would need to pay a sitter to do even one Saturday/month etc. Does this "break the rules"? Can child care be deducted from the income? How does this work if you are doing this on a month to month basis as opposed to a weekly one?
Hi Ruth and welcome. Personally I do a bit of paid care work and so being on a zero hours contract my earnings fluctuate depending on how much work there is and my availability. I found that when my earnings exceeded the weekly amount on some occasions and not on others that I was classed by the DWP in a third category as an "irregular earner". I think from your working pattern or rather lack of pattern that you would also be in this category but best to ring DWP to check how they see it. When I was in this category I had to submit monthly payslips (not helped by being paid mid month for the preceding calendar month of employment). Some months my earnings were over the limit so I also submitted pension contributions. Now I have less time available for paid employment I am always below the threshold and after I had been regularly below the threshold for six consecutive months they put me back into the monthly earnings category so I get paid CA every month.
Not sure if that really answers your specific circumstances but my advice would be to take the work but carefully make sure that you are not exceeding the monthly threshold, keep all payslips and if you ever do go over make sure you offset double the overearnings into a pension fund- otherwise you will lose the next 4- 6 weeks of CA and have to reclaim.
I suggest that you contact the Carers UK Adviceline team as they are the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits.
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

Freephone: 0808 808 7777
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm.
If you can’t get through on the phones (lines are often oversubscribed) then send them an email, they’ll usually get back to you within 3-5 working days. ... -allowance