[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Ask the Experts: post your Qs on carers' rights & benefits - Page 6 - Carers UK Forum

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

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
82 posts
Jacki_1407 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:21 pm
I would like to ask a question of an expert please.

I have found out that if we wrap our capital in a trust (bare or discretionary) which was a sum paid as a result of a Critical Illness policy when my husband had a traumatic brain injury causing a major stroke, our capital amount is mitigated, thus allowing us to claim Universal Credit as a couple.

Is this correct? If so, can we do it now as we have held this in a house, then sold that house and moved to a cheaper one and now the capital amount is in a bank. It is exactly the same capital which we have looked after and it must pay for any adaptations he may need.
Hi there, thank you for getting in touch.

I have had a look at the information we hold to see how the DWP will treat the capital you have.
As you no doubt know, savings over 16 thousand mean that no Universal Credit can be paid.
All capital is taken into account, unless it is disregarded. Savings are generally treated as capital and are not disregarded, and this includes bonds, shares, unit trusts and money in a bank or building society.

Our information goes on to state that capital in a discretionary trust does not count towards your capital limit, because payments are at the discretion of the trustee and you cannot demand payment.

However, once a payment from the trust is paid to you then those are taken into account for means tested benefits, either as “income” if they are regular payments, or as “capital” if it is a lump sum.

Personal Injury and other compensation payments.

If you have money in a trust or annuity from a personal injury, the value of the trust and any income from the trust is disregarded. A lump sum from the trust is however treated as capital and would affect your ability to claim means tested benefits such as Universal Credit.

Therefore it seems that when in a trust the value is ignored, but once released as a lump sum that money is then treated as capital and counts towards the capital limit for means tested benefits.

The information concludes that if money is placed into a discretionary trust it’s value will be ignored for means tested benefits. However if you transfer money into a trust in order to claim a benefit, it can still count as yours under the “notional capital rules”. These rules state that the DWP can assess you as still having the capital (even if it is spent etc), if they believe that it was put away or spent in order to gain benefits. However they would need to explain why they felt this was the case, but could ask you to explain your decision to put funds into a trust.

I’m afraid we are unable to advise on using trusts to ensure that your husband is able to pay for the aids and adaptations he will need in your new property, and we would advise that you seek independent financial advice.

If you choose not to put your capital into a trust and it reduces over time due to day to day living costs, usual expenditure and funding adaptations to your home, I would advise that you keep receipts to evidence this, in case your capital drops under the 16 thousand and you then make a claim for Universal Credit/means tested benefits.

I hope that helps somewhat, and warmest wishes for you both in your new home.

Kindest regards

Where can I get more info on carer breaks? I looked online but could not find much information on funding respite breaks away as a family. Many thanks.
on funding respite breaks away as a family.

Which? ... possibly the best general guide there is on the Internet :

https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care ... pc97y57f2y

Financing respite care.

There are several options open to you when it comes to financing respite care, such as funding from the local authority, charities or self-funding.

( Given the demand , a minimum of 4 million family / kinship carers without funds to pay for respite care ... would be akin to winning a sizeable amount on the lottery ? )
Guilty in court but then successful reconsideration

I was caring for my mum fromJanuary 15 til she passed away this August.
From Sept 15 I started work and informed CAU but apparently sent the letter to local DWP office and not Carers Unit
After a few weeks I was struggling mentally and physically so asked my sister in law would she (if I paid taxi fare of £10 per day -£5 per trip there then home) would she help by going to mums giving her breakfast and personal care every weekday morning then as I only worked morning I would care for her in afternoon to bedtime.
Unfortunately I didn’t tell CAU of this arrangement- I was mentally shattered and as I calculated I would still be entitled to receive the money I never made telling them a priority
In January this year I was interviewed under caution by DWP fraud which lead to me going to court last month pleading guilty and receive fine of £300 and Costs of £200.
AT NO TIME have I received official notification of the Overpayment and the Reconsideration was still in the queue to be considered
This afternoon I received a phone call from CAU to say my reconsideration has now been auctioned and found in my favour for all but £305 overpayment
I’m ecstatic at this BUT I now have a criminal record and a £500 fine to pay
Has anybody had experience like this and will I be entitled to back pay of benefits from January to my mums death in august
I told numerous people incl solicitor and court that my reconsideration was still to be decided but nobody thought to suspend the court case til after it had been decided. I am so glad that my mental health is better nowadays as this scenario of an IUC then Court, fine and criminal record would have finished me off. Sorry for the long scribe. Thanks for reading :-???
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 Lynda

Thanks for sending in the following question by email:
Why don't carers get free prescriptions and travel? I have been caring for an elderly parent for 5 years having given up paid employment. Being an asthmatic I have had to purchase the PPC and also annual bus pass is over £800.

Unfortunately carers don’t get free prescriptions or travel, and this can cause financial difficulties, especially when a carer has given up work and their income because of their caring role.
At present only some bus companies offer Carer Companionship passes for the buses, and it seems that not many do this.
Certain groups of people in receipt of means-tested benefits do get free prescriptions, but there are also many people on low incomes who fall outside of the eligibility for these benefits.
The NHS low income scheme can provide a way to get some help with health costs, including prescription charges, and as such it might be worth looking into this if you haven’t already.

The NHS say:
“If you have a low income, the NHS Low Income Scheme could help you pay for:
- NHS prescription charges
- NHS dental treatment charges
- The cost of sight tests, glasses and contact lenses
- The cost of travelling to receive NHS treatment
- NHS wigs and fabric supports (check with your hospital for their arrangements for supplying NHS wigs)
The amount of help you’re entitled to depends on your household income and outgoings. Any help you’re entitled to is also available to your partner, if you have one”

You can order a form online and they will post it out to you: https://apps.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/LISWebAppStaticData/begin.do

You may be able to get help with your travel costs via a Carer’s Assessment if travel is integral to your caring role. The assessment would be carried out by your parent’s local authority. This can potentially lead to a range of support if you are eligible, such as direct payments to help with travel costs associated with caring. You can read more about carers assessments and the support available through them here:
https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factshe ... il2019.pdf

Kindest regards
Hello Sally - thanks for sending the following by email to explain your situation:
Hi, i have worked st the same place for over 25 years as well as being carer for 2 family members and 1st port of call for my mother with dementia in a residential home. Whilst working, as it was 5 mins walk up the rd, i managed to leave early, have a longer lunch break, change my hours, days off, have leave to attend appointments, meetings & annual leave to care after cared ones after having an operation. So when i was made redundant and i knew I wouldn’t find another job so close and so flexible, i decided to concentrate on caring for a while. When i asked about my mppi after sending copies of info by my hr dept to them they turned around and said i couldnt claim mppi as i didnt leave work to be a carer, i was made redundant, also i could only claim unemployment if i agreed to look for work and sign on for employment, but i knew with my commitments i would find this difficult. So after 25 years of paying in to the insurance, i was not allowed to claim. I had to use my savings & redundancy to pay. All i could claim was carers allowance.

I’m very sorry to hear that you were unable to claim from your work insurance because you were made redundant. It sounds like you looked into it fully to see if there was a way to be recognised as a carer, but they did not accept this.

We understand that workplace insurance schemes have their own criteria and we are unable to advise on the rules that they apply to their schemes, but it might be worth getting further advice if you feel they applied their criteria to you incorrectly. There may be an organisation on www.advicelocal.uk that could help if you felt it was appropriate.

You mention that all you were able to claim was Carer’s Allowance. If you would like, we could carry out a benefit check for you, to make sure you are not missing out on any benefits. Please do email us in the advice team on advice@carersuk.org. We can then correspond privately and send you a list of the information we would need in order to carry out the check for you.

Take care
thara_1910 wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:19 pm
Where can I get more info on carer breaks? I looked online but could not find much information on funding respite breaks away as a family. Many thanks.
Hello thara_1910

I’m not sure if you’ve seen, but you might also find our ‘Taking a break’ factsheet to be helpful. You can find this at: https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factshe ... v_2019.pdf .

If you head to page 14 onwards, there is a directory of organisations who might be able to help with funding towards family breaks.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes
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:
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!!
82 posts