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Bored house-husband - Carers UK Forum

Bored house-husband

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I have just joined the forums, so want to introduce myself to other forumites.

I am a stay-at-home husband, carer to my wife who has multiple care needs, with physical
and mental health needs 24/7. Some years ago I was advised by my GP to give up paid work
to care for my wife, and was told that I would get Carer Allowance, Housing Benefit, Council
Tax Benefit etc. which would most likely mean we were getting a higher income than my
employment would give.

Bad idea, as I had to resign from my job to claim Carer Allowance, then was told by Job Centre
I was not eligible for this, and could not get JSA as I was not actively seeking work due to my
role as a carer. So they accepted my role as a carer to deny JSA, but refused to accept it when
I claimed allowances.

Finally after getting into debt, and claiming benefits again, my wife and I managed to get her
retirement pension OK, and a Guaranteed Pension Credit, also paid to my wife in to her bank.
So in effect, I have NO income at all, my wife visits her bank with me, gets cash out and gives
it to me to put in my bank to pay bills etc. So I am not a recognised carer, in short I do not
really exist in the system. I am 63, wife is 66

Now I need to try to get a respite break, but as I am not getting Carer Allowance I have had
trouble convincing my local authority to discuss this at a carer assessment.

Guess I am not alone in this.....
It's true. The benefits system can be a maze with little rhyme or reason to it, but then there are some people who can navigate it better than others. Unfortunately, I'm no expert, but have you spoken to anyone about what you're entitled to? And I wouldn't count the jobcentre as they often don't know themselves Image I had a similar problem a while back where I had to claim JSA but couldn't get a job because I was caring. They tried to send my on a full time six week course to improve my working skills which I argued the heck out of and got let off.

It might be worth speaking to the Citizens Advice Bureau about it.

As far as local authority goes, I think you should still get support whether you claim Carers Allowance or not. The fact is: YOU ARE A CARER. I've not heard anything to indicate that a carer is only defined as someone claiming the benefit for it. I know that each local authority will have their own way of dealing with things, but it seems to be to be a bit senseless to deny your caring role.

Apart from that, welcome to the forum.
Hi and welcome to the forum. Have you looked into getting income support? That way you don't have to be actively seeking work. I care for my dad, but I can work so am claiming JSA and put a claim in for carers allowance recently just waiting to hear.
I would go to citzens advice about it because you will definately be able to claim benefits.

Kat x
Welcome to the forum.

I hope you get the information and support you need, my only suggestion is to contact your local Carers UK they were very helpful to me and I was in quite a state at the time.

Don't let anyone say you're not a carer, spell it out to them and see if they'd like to walk in your shoes! Don't let them under value you, you've done a great job of providing for your wife and you need some help and rightly so. Be strong, you'll get through this.
You're definitely a carer. Try giving our helpline a call, they're very helpful in doing a full benefits check to make sure you're getting all you are entitled to. There's a lot of information on our main page about how to get help, have you had a look on there.

Karen
Hi and welcome. Does your wife claim Attendance Allowance or DLA? Because if she does, then depending on the rate given, you would be able to claim CA.
If she doesn't, try filling in the forms.
But do get some advice as to what you should be getting.
Hi aurigauser (not easy to write Image )

Your wife will need to apply for Attendance Allowance once she has had a Care Needs Assessment. Over 60 she cannot get DLA.
If she was on DLA before age of 60 then its easier but it appears not as your wife is 66 and your struggling. You have to convince the DWP not the Jobcentre your worth and your wifes needs. The DWP are also situated in the jobcentres not just the unemployed, and they know very little about whats really needed.

The Jobcentre should have given you a "Disability Advisor" who is independent of the decision making. He should have told you what benefits you can apply for. Ours was fantastic. Unfortunately the CAB were about as much use as a chocolate fireguard They left us confuse and applying for the wrong benefits. I know they told me to apply for CA as soon as i applied for DLA- i got knocked back of course as it relys on the decision of the DWP for the DLA and is not independent. Thats just ours though and i cant offer up what your CAB is like. it was like a cattle market with people running round, red faced and long timeless queues.
Andys Disability Advisor showed us the book that governs benefit decision making and its the size of St James Bible original Image Image Image ............seriously its 2000+ pages. He said none of us know it all , we rely on the book to help!!! thats why so many mistakes are made.

Social Services in each area are different BUT the national guidelines for decision making re Carer or not is still the same. We in Wigan area have a "Dept of Adult Services" who deal with Carers and the carees in the community. You need to contact them in your Social Services Dept and they will usually do an interview over the phone to decide whether you have just cause for help for your wife and recognition of your caring.
If you dont request a carers Assessment and Carees Needs Assessment you cant go onwards.
They will then allocate a Social Worker to come to your home and do 2 assessments.
Totally separate from each other. One for you as Carer called a "Carers Assessment" and one for your wife called a Care Needs Assessment.
You will be sent a copy to keep and one to sign to send back. This is then your evidence of being a Registered Carer and the services available and put forward for you.
Without these you will not be able to apply for Attendance Allowance, so these are your first port of call.

You should also be offered a "Passport- Who am I" which is a booklet of the care your wife needs for any visits or hospital appointments and hospital stays. It goes on the front of the notes and is an NHS Directive Document- you should all have one or been given the opportunity to obtain one.
More information is on website www.direct.gov.uk/CaringForSomeone
It has all the info re Benefits and Legislation.

You cannot request CA until you actually are awarded Attendance Allowance, it needs a date of payment or actual payment into the bank before they allow you to apply for CA. it may all be a little easier if you have a joint bank account.
After this its pretty quick and their booklet is not very big. it doesnt ask complex needs questions like the Attendance Allowance as they already know from that what your wifes needs are.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefits - you need to discuss with the Housing Dept of your area. It can be obtained if you have limited finances and/or Certain benefits but is removed as soon as your joint income gets to a certain point and its not that high............

I hope this is of help. The reason i sound passionate about it is because i know the system and fought it and won and because of my role as a Hospital Ward sister i helped to instigate dealing with DWP.
i thought it was easy then with knowledge of the system and illness. I can write a care Assessment as well as they can and i made their jobs easy. But out here in the real world caring for my husband 24/7 it nearly destroyed me. I now am in a calm place and stress is reducing every day because of this Forum and these wonderful selfless giving people. I want to help others fight too and not allow it to do what it did to me.

If the info is not relvant then ignore it..............no harm done offering it. Good luck and take care

Mandy