Quitting work

For information and discussion about benefits
Hi my wife gets pip standard rate living and high rate mobility , I work 37 hours a week but i am finding it harder to care for my wife and work and I am thinking about quitting to look after her as a paid carer but I am frightened about how much we might loose if i do this or what I might be intitled to in the way of benefits ,I did go in the job centre they told me go to the benefit website .it's quite scary giving up work any help would be really help full thank you
There's quite a lot of information on this website as to what the regulations etc etc are, plus if you read around on the forum you will see quite a lot of information scattered about. You can also email the team of experts at Carers UK itself (rather than phone the busy helpline.)

I would make no quick decision, however, as it is a BIG decision, and very possibly irreversible.

I think I would not be alone in advising you not to give an 'instinctive' decision, however, Quite a few of us here made that kind of 'impulsive' decision to become full time carers, because it just seemed easier and simpler, given how very difficult it usually is to juggle caring with working, but some live to regret it.

Poverty is one 'bad outcome' of giving up work (I suspect that being poorer than you are now is almost inevitable???), but there is also a psychological dimension as well. Perhaps not so much when your caree is your life partner, as it is when your caree is an elderly parent, especially one with dementia, but it is to be taken into account all the same.

Work does get you 'out of the house' and gives you an interest other than being focussed on your life without four walls. Obviously a huge amount depends on what your wife's care needs are, and how you spend your time together as well.

Then, too, there is the 'what if' question - ie, 'What if I decide I do want to go back to work again, will I be able to do so?' The answer may depend on your age (are you still at an age where it's easy to find employment - like it or not there is age discrimination, or just the difficulty in finding another job, or getting the old one back), and general situation.

The benefits system is geared to trying to get you BACK into work - it really, really doesn't like people 'living off the state' (!!!!!), so you will probably find pressure from that quarter to earn money to save the Treasury money so it can fritter it away on more important things than the disabled etc etc etc..... (!!!!!)

But, bottom line, don't make the decision in haste - there won't be a 'perfect decision' anyway, each will have pros and cons, and there is the argument of the 'devil you know' (ie, working and caring simultaneously), and what may be a good decision for one person might not be for another. It has to be the best (or least worse at any rate) for YOU.

And, above all, remember it's a decision you will be taking 'under stress' so do bear that in mind, and try to be as dispassionate as you can, with the maximum information you can.

What would your wife like you to do? That is also something you may have to take into account - and maybe even resist? This is your life we are talking about, and you can't shape it entirely around her, or her care needs, sad though that is to say! You should both be making 'equal sacrifices' to each other in a good marriage!!!! :)

Wishing you all the best, and hope you get the information you need, to make the best decision possible in very difficult circumstances, kind regards, Jenny
Thank you Jenny alot to think about I am 57 so getting work would be hard to get but seeing my wife just sit in her chair in pain everyday whilst I leav e her to go to work is killing me we get no help other then pip ,I will e-mail them and see how it goes from there
Hello John and welcome to the forum :)

The very best advice I can give you is to contact the Carers UK Adviceline team - they are the experts on all matters related to caring and benefits and can do a benefits check for both of you to ensure you claiming all that you are entitled to/eligible for.
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.

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.)

In the meantime check out this fact sheet from our main website -
Carers Allowance:
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... -allowance

Additionally it would probably be beneficial to consider getting a Needs Assessment for your wife and a Carers Assessment for yourself. Both are carried out by Social Services and are designed to highlight what support you both need to enable you to continue caring.
http://ww.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/ ... assessment
http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... assessment

However it is unlikely that you can replace your working income with benefits at anywhere near the income level you currently enjoy so I would agree with Jenny that you need to think long and hard before making a knee jerk reaction.
Hi John
I'd also suggest looking at working part time, preferably with your current employers. This retains many of the advantages and it would be easier to build back up from that to full time in the future. Legally, you are disabled by association and therefore i think your employer has a duty to consider your request. They dont have to grant it but if you put in a well thought out request showing some benefits to them, they might consider it.
Good luck
John ..... another angle for you.

37 hour working week , let's call it 50 with travelling , set hours , Monday to Friday.

To replace yourself as a carer , 50 times the minimum wage at least ... ignore the working time directive for a moment ... call it £ 400 per week ... subject to all the normal working rights ... pension / holiday / sick pay etc.

Could you afford to pay out £ 400 per week ( £ 20k per annum ) and still be better off than on a full range of benefits ?

Bear in mind , you will be caring as soon as the replacement carer leaves.

Faced with that reality , some will still say that caring is a choice ... which it is ... in theory.

Food for though once you have had a few fiqures on the benefit side ?
Try the benefit calculator on turn2us or entitled to websites to give you an idea of what you could get whilst waiting for carersuk to contact you. It was very accurate when i reduced my hours from full time to 2 days a week.
John, I'm going to say something 'difficult'. Your wife will be in pain whether you are out at work or not.

How much 'good' will you do your wife if you are at home all day, in that respect, rather than out at work?

If staying at home means just being there to see her in pain, or say 'there there' to her (or equivalent), then is there any benefit to her in you being there physically?

However, if you being with her during the day can actually mitigate her pain, eg, by doing more fetching and carrying for her, that may make a difference? However again, would 'someone else' (eg a sitter) not be able to do this for her?

How much does she NEED you to be at home with her, and how much does she WANT you to be at home? What will you actually do for her that 'someone else' could not do (and that, maybe you could afford to pay for if you continue working??)

I do think the notion of reducing your working hours is certainly worth exploring, and may be the 'half way house' that is the 'least worst' all round.

One very important consideration, given your age, is to assess very thoroughly your pension situation. Do you have a private pension, and if so, how will giving up work impact it? On the state pension front, how will giving up employment now impact it? And how would these potential pensions be impacted if, say, you continued working for another few years, but not until full retirement age?

On the re-employment issue, sadly, at your age, that is going to be a challenge, if not an impossibility, so, again, that must be taken into consideration. If you stop paid work now, you may well never work again?? (But that might not matter!)

As I say, NO easy answers, and in a way, THE most important thing in life is - one one has the basics for living - is the time we spend with our family. So maybe that is the bottom line of the decision you are facing.

Wishing you well at a time when there are no easy answers.
If I give up i would help her more with daily tasks I only hoover 2 times a week at the moment as i have a very physical job and I get to tired to do everything same with washing and cooking we get take a ways as i am tired so I do not have to cook , some days she does not get dressed till i get home becauce I get up at 4 am on some shifts, I no I need to find out about pensions and how they will be affected and if i can Cary on paying in to them I have so much to consider its making my head spin at the moment i am thinking about going to see cab and see if they can help