Money, Caring and Home

So we’ve all been a bit quiet on here, that’s partly because it’s the holidays and we’re talking money….doing all the research for these is hard work! However I got here eventually!!!
I’m here to talk benefits and money generally, but for carers and the home. I will not be talking about PIP, DLA and ESA but they will come up as there are many need to know factors for many carer/family benefits. So here goes…

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Carers Allowance
You could get £62.70 a week if you care for someone at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits. There are

  • PIP with the daily living component
  • DLA – middle/higher levels only
  • Attendance Allowance or Constsnt Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independance Payment

It’s worth noting that you don’t have to be related to, or live with, the person you care for and that you won’t be paid extra if you care for more than one person.

As always there are rules to whether you are eligible to claim. The biggest ones to know about are

  • you must be 16
  • you are caring for someone at least 35 hours a week
  • you earn no more than £116 a week after taxes and expenses
  • you’re not in full time education and study no more that 21 hours a week

There are impacts that the Carer’s Allowance makes to other benefits. It does remove disability premiums to the likes of ESA , Income Support, etc. But it can also take away reduced council tax benefits too so do make sure you have a conversation with the person you care for before claiming Carer’s Allowance.
Personally no one in my household claims Carer’s Allowance because it is ultimately just rejigging where the money comes from but also we only have one bank account…it seems a little pointless to take one off one set of benefits to create another, it is not opposed by the ‘powers that may be’ to not claim Carer’s.
Keep reading for alternatives to this….

find out more here Carer’s Allowance- gov.uk

Carer’s Credit
This is perfect if you don’t want to claim, for Carer’s Allowance. It’s made to top up you National Insurance credits which eventually contribute to your pension. It wasn’t so easy to sort but now it is!

Requirements include:

  • the person you care for having one of the same benefits as Carer’s Allowance
  • You care for 20+ hours a week
  • You are under State Pension age but over 16

That’s it….simple as. If you haven’t qualified for Carer’s Allowance you should definitely try claiming these credits.
It’s worth noting that you can have a break from caring for up to 12 weeks in a row without being peanalised, so holidays and hospital admissions are covered.

find out more here: Carer’s Credit – gov.uk

Attendance Allowance
This is similar to carers allowance and is applied for by the person recieving care.
The person recieving care must be phisyically disabled and/or mentally disabled and in need of help for care or supervision for care. This allowance also covers those with a terminal illness.

You can get Attendance Allowance if you’re 65 or over and the following apply:

  • you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both
  • your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety
  • be in Great Britain when you claim – there are some exceptions, such as members and family members of the Armed Forces
  • have been in Great Britain for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this doesn’t apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)

There are two rates:
– Lower – £55.65 for those needing frequent help or supervision during the day or supervision at night
– Higher – £83.10 for those needing help or supervision both day and night, or for terminally ill people.

find out more here Attendance Allowance – gov.uk

Benefits and Disability Premiums
It is worth being aware that if you are claiming benefits as a household that some benefits have extras known as disability premiums.
Income Support and JSA (Jobseekers) have disability premiums which can be from £32.55 for a single person and £46.40 for a couple. There are additional severe disability premiums which can enhance this payment by quite a bit.
ESA has disability premiums which are only applicable to the support group. These are £15.90 a week for the enhanced rate or for the severe premium it can be up to £65.42.

CDDEB226-1FF8-4106-89DC-01F5D805E305-13779-00001A3914C22A36Claiming…
As you’ll have noticed there’s lots of things about hours of care. As a carer you need to really think about where your care time is spent a week. I’m going to use myself as an example.
I’m a full time carer. I care for my wife. I don’t claim Carer’s Allowance but do qualify as a carer for all our joint benefits including ESA.
Do I care 35+ hours a week? Yes and no.
On a good week for my wife it probably works out at about 20 hours a week on a bad week….the skies the limit. It probably averages out at around 35 hours a week over the course of the year.
However, I’m going to say and look at this as a minimum of 3 hours a day. What does these 3 hours include?
Helping get up/wash/dress, personal care (generally), cooking, cleaning, laundry, getting out and about, shopping, overnight help….this list goes on.
I’m not saying it’s every single thing every day of the year, but it’s any combination of these things. When you claim any benefit you normally need to justify why your claiming them. Anyone with knowledge will tell you that you claim with an eye to not the worst day but to a not great day. Be aware that you need to look at this not optimistically by as reaslistically negatively

I do hope this has helped and that you might have a better idea what’s available where to go looking for help.

Liz x

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