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Ask the Experts: post your Qs on carers' rights & benefits - Page 7 - Carers UK Forum

Ask the Experts: post your Qs on carers' rights & benefits

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82 posts
Are you able to claim carers allowance for two people? I currently get it for my son but want to know if I can claim for my father also
Are you able to claim carers allowance for two people? I currently get it for my son but want to know if I can claim for my father also

I'll let our very own Lord Kitch answer that one :

Why not be really patriotic and care for 2 or 3 ?

Sorry we cannot afford to provide any extra rations.

If more than one of you is needed to care for a caree , sorry , only one Carers Allowance ration allowed.

Current record ... from the SCOPE forum , is 6 carees ... and only one ration of CA paid ... the equivalent of £ 11.03 per week , per caree.
Hello everyone. Thanks so much for your participation. Due to the large number of questions we received both via the forum and email, Danny and Suzette will continue to post their answers early next week. Please be assured that they haven't missed your questions and that they'll get round to answering them soon.
Rachel_1911 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:10 pm
Im presently receiving carers allowance, my wife works full time. Im considering going back to university to study nursing, but im wondering how this would effect benefits, as we would transfer onto universal credit from tax credits.

Hi there, and thank you for your query.

You are right that your benefits may be affected if you return to study. They may be affected if you are to claim Student Finance for your living costs, and/or if any bursaries would be payable.
Please see here for more information: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/extra-help and here: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/loans-and-grants

Your Carer’s Allowance would also be affected if you return to full-time study, and you cannot study full time and continue to receive Carer’s Allowance.

If the institution where a person is studying describes the course as full-time, then generally the Carer’s Allowance Unit would agree that this is a full-time course. If the institution where a person is studying does describe the course as full-time, but the course is for less than 21 hours per week, then it might be possible for the Carer’s Allowance Unit to consider the course to be part time, however this is complicated.

We would advise that a 3 year degree course of study is generally classed as full time and would be described as full time by your school or college. A part time degree would generally be over 5 or 6 years.

When calculating the 21 hours, they include only hours spent in ‘supervised study’. Any time spent on meal breaks or unsupervised study on or off the premises of the educational establishment is ignored.

Supervised study does not depend on whether a supervisor (i.e., teacher, tutor, lecturer) is present with the person. If the study is directed to the course of education and the curriculum of the course and it is undertaken to meet the reasonable requirements of the course, it normally counts as supervised study.

We would be unable to carry out a benefit check for you at this point until you had looked out what finance you would be loaned or awarded. However please do get back in touch with us directly on advice@carersuk.org if you would like a check once you have explored your available income further.

I hope this helps a bit.

Kind regards

Michelle_180912345678 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 4:50 pm
Are there any updates on the government's response to the petition appealing for more consideration of the financial difficulties faced by carers including the request for CA to be fair across the UK?

Carer’s Allowance is the lowest benefit of its kind at £66.15 per week. It is the main benefit for people caring unpaid for family or friends. At Carers UK, we believe this is far too low, and in no way reflects the invaluable work that carers do every day to support their loved ones.
Last year, we asked supporters to sign a letter to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions calling for Carer’s Allowance to be raised across the UK to ensure carers received the same level of Carer’s Allowance no matter where in the UK they live.

In January, Carers UK’s Chief Executive Helen Walker, along with Barbara, Joanna and Terry, three carers from England, Northern Ireland and Wales, delivered a letter on behalf of the 6.5 million carers in the UK to the then Secretary of State Amber Rudd MP. We want to say a huge thank you to each of the 8200+ people who signed the letter, who agree it’s time we made Carer’s Allowance Fairer for Carers.
We will continue to highlight how incredibly low the level of Carer’s Allowance is and have called on the Government to address the financial hardship that many carers find themselves in – half of working age carers live in a household where no-one is in paid employment, and 1.2 million are living in poverty.
Whilst we welcomed the announcement in April that the earnings limit for Carer’s Allowance was being raised by £3.00 to £123 a week, we will continue to call for better financial support for carers. Indeed it was a key ask in our Manifesto for Carers 2019, which you can see here: www.carersuk.org/manifesto19

Look out for the relaunch of our Fairer For Carers campaign in the new year! You will find this information on our website here: https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campa ... for-carers
Old news ?

DWP HAVE known of ALL the difficulties faced by carers since 2008 at least.

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... 0committee

One of the TRUE bibles we have in CarerLand.

Real question that is legitimate ?

Why no " Sit down " since 2008 ???

Forthcoming Carers Strategy ... an annex to the Green Paper / Social Care.

When will we be asked for our views ... leading to a submission ?

( Around half the Carer Army deemed to be in poverty ... 4 million ... rising daily as caring duties force many to give up work ... for some , even a few hours per week.
" Fairer for Carers " will not change the trend ... in fact , do nothing to ease poverty amongst carers. )
Meadowsanddaisies wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:04 pm
Hi all. I care for my husband who has a mental illness. We live in Dorset and are in our 50s. I’d like help with advice on money for a break and also general benefits advice.
My husband gets contribution based ESA (support group) and PIP standard rate. I just receive carers allowance as going on to ESA would mean changing my husbands ESA claim to a joint one which would automatically change it to income based ESA, something we would very much like to avoid as my husbands elderly parents legacy to him should they die would be lost.
We claim housing benefit and our son who lives With us and works pays his share of the rent and bills. We live in 2 bed private rented accommodation and are overcrowded as my husband needs his own bedroom, this has been verified by the doctor and accepted by the council, they say when we have a larger property we will be entitled to the two-bedroom rate of HB.
My benefit gets used mainly for food and fuel and I am getting depressed at having little money of my own. I’ve tried to find out how much I can earn without it affecting our housing benefit but not had any success. If any fellow carers can give me tips or advice on her circumstances would be very grateful. It’s often helpful to have an outside eye looking in I find
With regard to holidays I have tried all the local carers charities and the carers to Auch website we put in your postcode but there are no services available in our area – we are quite Rural. I had a grant from a charity last year for massages which was wonderful But I can’t apply again until the end of next year. I can’t tell you how much the messages helped my health and mental well-being and those or a holiday would be wonderful Any advice gratefully received.
thanks in advance :kiss:
Hi there, thank you for your post.

I understand from your post that you and your husband get some Contribution Based ESA, Carer’s Allowance, Pip and Housing Benefit. I hope that you also get some assistance for your council tax also via Council Tax Reduction.

It does sound like you are missing some benefits, and that would be Income Related ESA to top up the ESA and Carer’s Allowance you currently get as a couple.
It sounds as if you are worried that being on this benefit will affect any savings you may be left from your husbands’ parents. However, it sounds like this lecacy may be something that happens in the future, and you do not have this legacy at the moment.

Savings are taken into account for means tested benefits, and Income Related ESA is a means tested benefit. Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are also means tested benefits and would also be affected by any savings you might have over a certain amount.
If you are both under state retirement age and do not have savings over £16,000 at the moment, it may well be worth applying for some means tested Income Related ESA to top up your income as a couple. You could be missing out on about £36 a week between you.

It will not cause your Housing Benefit to go down.

If in the future, you are left the legacy from your husdand’ parents then both Housing Benefit/Council tax Reduction and Income Related ESA will need to be informed. The amount of these benefits you get may then decrease of stop. The Contribution Based ESA and the Carer’s Allowance will not be affected.

Having Income Related ESA will also “passport” you both to help with health costs, such as free prescriptions, NHS dental and eye checks ups and so on.

You ask how much you can earn without affecting your Housing Benefit. We cannot say as it will depend on how much Housing Benefit you get at the moment and how much you expect to earn.
As this benefit is a means tested benefit, any other income will affect it, but it may mean that even with a reduction in housing and council tax benefits you are (as a couple) better off over all

If you have an idea of the amount of hours you may work and the earnings you may have, and wish for us to carry out a benefit check, please do email us directly on advice@carersuk.org and we will send you the information we would need in order to carry out a benefit check for you.

In regard to grants it might be with looking further afield.

The Carers Trust has a web page which looks at discounts and days out for unpaid carers and people they care for which you can access below

The organisation disability grants also have a useful page listing National disability discounts for days out with contact details for the different organisations.

Turn 2 Us are a charity which has a database of lots of different grant giving organisations – you can run a grants search with Turn 2 Us either online or over the phone (0808 802 2000).

The charity Carers Trust also holds some information on grants for carers: https://carers.org/article/grants-avail ... rers-trust

I hope this helps somewhat, but please do email us directly for the benefit check or with any questions.

Kindest regards

Helen_1801123 wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:44 pm
I have posted about this before, but am getting nowhere, and the situation has since escalated.

I have no work for my zero hours contract job this term, which is due to the fact that they wanted me to do a First Aid course at a time when it would've been particularly stressful / I had other commitments, and because I couldn't do it that day, I have had no work allocated.
My Working Tax Credits are £53 per week atm. We have some HB and my son's ESA.

Since my youngest son left college back in February, we have lost a significant amount of income support - Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits and maintenance. To add insult to injury, my ex owed £400 maintenance that was recently written off.
He was advised to apply for Universal bloody Credit, and has been destitute for eight months, because they are not telling him vital information, or he doesn't know what he needs to do, or they're making errors - he finally has a claim active, which he was due to be paid last month, but they messed up his bank account number, didn't pay him, and was supposed to pay it this month - but they haven't rectified their mistake and made sure it's sorted.

I have a £300 Council Tax debt, am over £700 in arrears with energy costs, despite paying monthly, and I'm now relying on my overdraft to pay bills.

I can't cope with it at all, I need legal help. I want my son to claim back eight months' worth of UC, because if it were the other way around, and he owed them, they would claw it back immediately!!

In the very least we need to challenge the DWP on making my son destitute for eight months, and the effect this is having on my rights, and ability to care.

I've been in touch with my MP, who has been unable to help, am thinking of going to the media, because no one is actually helping!!

What rights do we have??
I'm unpaid, I'm stressed out, and fed up of being forced into more and more debt and economic abuse!!

Dear Helen,

Thank you for your post.

That does sound incredibly stressful.
We are not legally trained here so I hope we can provide some information that may help.
You talk about challenging your son not getting Universal Credit for 8 months. If this was official error on behalf of the DWP then you may be able to challenge this.

Citizens Advice cite Official Error as being:

An official error is an error made by a DWP employee or by someone employed to provide a service to DWP. The error could be that the person:
• got the law wrong, or
• failed to take into account information or evidence that may have shown you were entitled to the benefit or that you should have been awarded more money, or
• made a mistake about a fact.
If the decision on your claim is wrong because of an official error you can ask for the decision to be changed by revision. It does not matter when the decision was made, it can be changed at any time. This is known as an any time revision.
If the decision maker agrees that there was an official error a revision decision will be made which changes the decision from the date it was made.
A local Citizens Advice may be able to help you with a challenge of you may want to see if you can get some legal advice as below
• Law Centres Network has a list of law centres with a Legal Aid Contract
• The Disability Law Service has a free helpline providing legal advice on welfare benefits issues.

Your son can also make a formal complaint about the way his claim for UC has been processed. This would force the DWP to look at the issues your son has faced and to respond within specific time scales. There is further information about making a complaint available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisat ... -procedure

It might be worth you having a benefit check just to make sure. You are not missing out on any benefits.
To do this please get back in touch with the advice team directly on advice@carersuk.org with the following information:

· Whether you are single or in a couple;
· Your date of birth and that of any partner/spouse if applicable;
· How many dependent children you have living with you (if any) and their ages;
· Whether you have anyone else living with you. If so who;
· What your level of earnings are (if any) and that of any partner or spouse if applicable – per week, month or year please specify;
· If you are in employment what your weekly hours of work are (if any) and that of any partner or spouse if applicable;
· Whether you or any partner/spouse are in receipt of any benefits currently. If so what and how much (please specify which rates apply and provide weekly amounts where possible);
· Details of any other income you or any partner/spouse have coming in;
· Details of any capital you or any partner/spouse have;
· What your full rent per week (before any Housing Benefit;
· If you are in a social rented property do you have any spare rooms; if you are in a privately rented property who do you live with;
· If you own the home you live in – what is the amount of your outstanding mortgage;
· What your council tax bill is for the year, before any Council Tax Reduction;
· What your postcode is.

Alternatively, if you would like to speak to someone on the phone you can call Turn2us for free on 0808 802 2000 who can do this for you, or if you would like to speak to someone face to face, you can contact your local Citizens Advice.

You can also do a benefit check yourself with online calculators such as Turn2Us or Entitled to. However, these calculators are not able to cover complex situations.

I hope this helps a bit and you are able to get some face to face or telephone support with your issues.

Kindest regards

Jaye_1906 wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:26 am
Are you able to claim carers allowance for two people? I currently get it for my son but want to know if I can claim for my father also
Dear Jaye,

Thank you very much for your post.
I’m afraid you can only claim and be paid Carer’s Allowance for one of the people you are caring for.
You might benefit from a Carer's Assessment from your local authority in connection with your caring role. You can read here for more information: http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... assessment

Many local carers centres now carry out the assessments on behalf of the council, and may have other forms of support. You can search for a local carer's centre here: http://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice ... al-support. The Carer’s Trust website also has a local carer’s centre search: http://www.carers.org/carers-services/f ... al-service.

I hope this helps.
Kindest regards

QueenBee wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:23 pm
Hello, I'm caring for both of my parents who are at different stages of dementia and they live over 80 miles from me in a different county. I contacted my local carers service and they mentioned that I could be entitled to a one-off carers grant. However, once they realised that I didn't live in the same area as my parents, I was referred to the carers service in the county where my parents live.

The service in that area later came back to me to say that I was not entitlled to the grant because I didn't live in that area. It seems that because my parents chose to live in a different county I fall between the gap and am not entitled to anything, which seems so unfair. Has this happened to anyone else in a similar situation, and did you manage to find any support to get a grant?
Hello there,

Carers grants administered by carers centres are not regulated by national legislation in the same way that carers assessments are. You are legally entitled to a carers assessment from the local authority of the people you care for. Carers assessments can potentially lead to a range of support, including direct payments to support caring expenses – you can read more about this here:
https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... assessment

In terms of grants, you may also wish to have a look through our page on potential options here: https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... ces/grants

Best wishes

82 posts