I am really annoyed about this. Since I was 15 years of age, I am now 70 I have paid the full National Insurance stamp plus tax on all my earnings. When the government gave women the chance to opt out of the full stamp in the 1980's I still continued to pay the full stamp as I wanted a full pension when I retired. When I had my children and then went back to work, they wrote to me and told me I needed to supplement my pension to enable me to get my full pension on retirement because I had missed a few years bringing up my children, and if I didn't pay this money, my pension would not be as much as it could be so I paid them a lump sump in order to bring my pension up to date and I now receive a full pension in my own right.

I applied for Carers Allowance as I am my husbands carer and look after him 24/7. He has end stage COPD/Bronchiectasis and is on oxygen 24/7, nebulisers and all tablets known to man. I help him dress, wash, get everything ready for him, he does absolutely nothing for himself, I push him around the house in a wheelchair, and am up through the night when he has bad 'do's.

Can I get Carers Allowance, can I hell and do you know why, it is because I get a full state pension. If I had opted out of the full womens stamp in the 1980's I would have had a much lower pension now and could have claimed a carers allowance, but because I was being sensible and looking after my interests for my retirement the Government are now telling me 'you silly woman, if you had no pension we would give you what you wanted, but because you had the forethought to provide for your retirement you get sod all.

We have just bought a stairlift and are buying a wet room to make it easier for him to shower and this is coming out of our own money. Because we saved for our retirement we get nothing at all.

I told my sons that if we had our time over again we would rent a council house, have great holidays, save our money in a tin box under the floorboards and claim every damned benefit going. My son works all hours to pay their mortgage and have good holidays but their next door neighbour is a woman living on her own with three children to three different men and the government is paying all her rent, she is on benefits and gets child care for all the kids, she does not work, but can afford cigarettes and bottles of wine. This government does not help the people who help themselves, they only help the people who can't be bothered.

Absolutely disgusted and totally fed up.

113 Replies

I sympathise with your thoughts. Things are very unbalanced in this country. You need to be a banker, very rich or immigrants coming into the country or the"lady" mentioned in the blog. I wonder if anything can be done. Have you tried writing to your MP. I am no expert but feel indignant for you.

Evening sweetthing,

The same happened when my mum tried to claim carers allowance. The only thing that they had was attendance allowance in dad's name. I believe people should not be penalised for working and saving. And having seen the news today that they will allow the elderly to only pay upto £75k for their care needs if they have assets is appalling. If you have nothing at all you automatically get the care you need for free. Again, the message this sends to me is, do not buy your own home, do not work, do not save......................or put it in a tin like you said loL!

Hope you are doing ok xx

That cap is only on care fees, accommodation fees (about £10,000 per year) are on top and not capped.

I am as cheesed off as well. I have worked for 41 years, saved and paid into a pension scheme. When I eventually stop work my pension will not pay my basic costs to live such as gas, electricity, water, council tax etc. I will be spending my savings from the day I stop work.

I worked hard and saved all my life. Wrong. Spend and enjoy when you are young and healthy. You will be no worse off and have good memories.

Oh sweetthing impossible not to sympathise if only we had politicians with the moral values and integrity we have a right to expect this kind of thing would not happen.

You may well get some good advice here later - there are some very knowledgable people here.

Good luck


Sweetthing, I do empathise but cannot agree that this has anything to do with how many children someone may have to whichever fathers. We have recently seen and heard about disabled people being vilified and we all know this happens to anyone unfortunate enough to have to claim benefits. If they are claiming illegally then report them and I will applaud you, but please do not be so judgmental. We cannot ever know others' circumstances enough to judge them.

Just be glad that you have the money to purchase a stairlift and wet room rather than having to rely on cheaper versions from the state or having to do without.

Well said anutymary Linda x

I am sorry you can't get the allowance sweetthing, it makes no sense as if your husband didn't have you to look after him it would cost the govt a lot more. It's a very modest amount anyway. "We're all in this together" say Messrs Cameron & Osbourne - yeah, right.

I understand how angry & upset you must feel at this unfairness sweetthing, but your son's neighbour is getting those benefits because she has 3 children. If she is irresponsible, it's not their fault, society has to ensure that innocent children get a certain standard of living.

I'll be honest, I too get annoyed at times, particularly when I feel down & think of what I could have achieved "if only". I've never claimed benefits, despite having quite serious health problems all my life (polishes halo!), so am puzzled by those who seem so keen to stop work & get on benefits. But then I think, who knows what their circumstances are? - maybe they just can't cope with being unwell, or maybe don't get any support from their families. I am lucky in that I had great parents who always encouraged me & helped me cope with being ill.

This govt would just love it if we all started resenting each other, so let's not go down that road, however tempting it might be.

love, ff xxx

Thank you for your comments. It is difficult not to feel bitter. I was brought up on a council estate in the 1950's and my mum worked in a mill from 6 am to 6 pm, came home and made tea for us. My dad worked shifts through the night and when mum worked my dad was at home. They saved for holidays and then saved again for christmas, we lived week to week. My mum and dad paid for me to go to night school for private lessons as they didn't want me to go into the mill and wanted better things for me and my sister.

They drilled it into us to make something of ourselves, which we did, we were able to buy our own homes when we married, my husband worked overtime when he could, I worked part-time and did overtime when I could in order to give ourselves a better life, we saved our money, had good holidays, but never pushed the boat out as we wanted to ensure we were looked after when we got older.

I am bitter about these young single women having children to different men who won't support them. My mother, god bless her, still lived in the council house we were brought up in, my dad had died but the council never, ever modernised it, she had an old sink, an old bath which had gone rusty, they were enamel in those days. She pestered them but nothing happened, her windows were rotting and they froze in the winter as there was no central heating installed. One day her next door neighbour died and the house became empty, a few weeks later she saw a new bathroom suite, kitchen, windows, central heating all being delivered to the house and she thought, great, we are being modernised, she wasn't, a young girl with children moved in and they modernised the house for her and never touched the other houses. We found out that the council was waiting for the houses to become empty before they would touch them. My mother never claimed benefits as she was still working even though she was over 60.

The moral of the story is, do not try and help yourself as the government will do it for you, have cruises, buy great cars, send your children to a posh school, buy designer clothes, but whatever you do, do not buy your house and do not under any circumstances put your money in the bank. Spend, spend, spend.

I know that children have to be looked after, but what message is the government sending out to these young people, they are saying, have children, don't work but don't worry, we will look after you as we are taking all the money from pensioners , and because they have saved all their lives and have their own homes, we don't have to pay for their care so that will save us money to help you lazy lot out.

How can Auntymary say we are lucky we can afford to buy our own stairlift and wet room, that money was put aside for us to enjoy our later years, not to use it on medical equipment that people who have not saved money will get for free. All medical equipment should be free to everyone regardless of wealth.

If people are genuinely entitled to benefits then great, I hope they get them but this law of penalising people who have saved for their old age is diabolical, they should be penalising those that haven't.

I'm one of those who was brought up in a council house, with hard working parents, but never got the breaks in life to be able to save money as I've always been in a situation where the money coming in has not been enough. The last time I had a holiday was in 1996, and even then it was sharing a holiday let for a week with the in-laws and travelling in their car, where they wanted to go. Before that I had a week in a very cold caravan in May 1991 as early season was cheap. Since then we've made do with a couple of days niow and again stopping with the wife's sister near Whitby and can't even do that this year.

If I had been able to put money away for later life then I would not be complaining about getting my own stairlift or wet room. In the same way as I would not claim DLA if I could afford to run my own car, like I did when I was working. Since I've been out of work I've not been able to do simple things like get to hospital for appointments, unless my wife can take me on a day off. I don't feel bad about applying for the benefit if it is there because it will genuinely help me, but I would not have gone through all the hassle of claiming and appealing if I had had my own money to cover running a car or being able to get a taxi. I have a bus pass but it's just got too much trying to use public transport.

I've just seen hypercat's note (below) about not being able to get carer's allowance above a certain age, which negates a lot of what you've said in the opening message. "Because we saved for our retirement we get nothing at all. " I would be thankful I could afford to buy the things I need, rather than the sheer hassle of trying to get a grant or benefit anfd being turned down.. It almost sounds like you expected to be in full health throughout retirement ? That's the way it reads to me, rather than 'good job we saved money and sorted out full pensions so we don't have to worry', which is the way I'd have looked at it.

"All medical equipment should be free to everyone regardless of wealth. ", A stairlift or wetroom isn't medical equipment though ? I'd love a wetroom or stairlift, but I'm not going to see either because they don't just give them away as you suggest. Same as a conservatory or pool, a lot of people have those because they could afford to buy them, lucky for them I say. I think you owe Auntymary an apology for questioning her opinion and naming her in that way, just because it does not agree with what you want to hear. I'm afraid I feel the same way, so I am no doubt due the same public shaming ? I'm sure that if essential 'medical equipment' was required then it would be provided, regardless of wealth, as that's the way the NHS is

You have a bee in your bonnet about how some people don't care about having kids and so on. A lot of that is down to how they were brought up, their parents never passed on life's values so they don't have any, simple as that. They feel the state owes them their beer money and a lot of us are annoyed to see the downright cheats going to sign on, driving BMW's and wearing gold chains - but please don't tar everyone with the same brush. The welfare state was set up to help those who could otherwise not afford to have a basic existence and the system of benefits has developed over the years for those who have not been as fortunate in life.

I live in a small terrace house without central heating. It's my wife's house, she was buying it long before I met her. She was left by her first husband and struggled to bring up a child on her own, because the father never paid anything and she was too proud to involve the CSA. We've both hoped for better things but it didn't work out like that. I was made redundant three times over a period of 18 years, all from major companies.

After the third I discovered that my skillset as a computer programmer was well out of date and I could no longer get employment in that field. I tried being self employed and set up a business that started well, but then the company I'd obtained my bulk services from were taken over and the new firm went direct to my customers and gave them a better deal than I was getting myself, which closed me down in a matter of days.

Since then I've done a heck of a lot of voluntary work as I've not been able to find much paid employment and now I doubt I'll ever get another job, though I have been trying. I'm 55 and my lung condition has become a big issue too. I've not claimed unemployment benefit, we've struggled along on my wife's wages and, more recently, a small private pension. I've put in a claim for DLA simply because I don't want to curl up and die through not being able to get out.

I've been up since 5, it's now almost 7, unable to sleep as I'm that cold, I went to bed at 1am but can't settle there because my chest hurts laid down . It's too expensive to have the gas fire on all the time, so it has a blast of 20-30 minutes, then goes off again. Before the room cools down I get wrapped up in my sleeping bags and blankets in the chair here and hope I can get to sleep.

I came on the PC aiming to spend 10 minutes having a browse, but your bitterness and anger have rattled me as a lot of it seems misguided and even accusing. It seems that you would prefer to see the benefit scroungers thrown into workhouses ?

We're in the trap here of not being able to do much as my wife works, she does not get a great deal and what comes in goes straight back out. But, it's above the limit where we could claim benefits, council tax rebate, and so much more. We feel bitter about the many things we are unable to do, like get dental care because it's too expensive on what little we have yet were' above the limit to get NHS help with that. We would be better off if she gave her job up and signed on, then we'd get all sorts of benefits - but we struggle on so people don't look down on us as scroungers.

We've put in double glazing and replaced the bathroom over the years, but only because of redundancy money paying for those nice things. Last year we won a PPI claim but the majority of the money went to the mortgage company to pay arrears. I could go on...

For anyone who has saved for their retirement and gets a decent pension, be thankful you were able to do that during your working life. Until you get into the poverty trap you cannot hope to know what it's like. I have a state pension to come when I reach retirement age, still 10 years away, but don't expect it to be adequate. By then I will have two small private pensions to draw as well, and my wife will not be far behind me in drawing her small private pension. That will probably have to do as we'll not get anything else. We'll still have to pay for our own stairlift and wetroom if we want those.

Hi Gordon,you make me sound like a winging, benefit chaser who thinks she has a right to all the benefits going. I am not, I just want what the people who have never done a hands turn are given, who have children willy nilly and arrive in this country without paying a penny and get free housing, child benefits, and everything else they can get their greedy little hands on.

Just because we were careful with our money in our younger days and put some money away for a rainy day should not exclude us from having the right to receive the same benefits as others who did not give a damn and thought, let the government look after us.

I feel so sorry for your situation and not for one minute am I complaining about people who are genuinely entitled to benefits., but I worked for the health service for many, many years and saw all these mothers having children left, right and centre to different men, getting free housing, free furniture and then when they came to the Health Centre, free milk , they then rang for a taxi to take them into town shopping and lit up a cigarette whilst they waited. I was curious to find out what the taxi fare was into town so rang the company and was told it was £8 one way and I know for a fact she booked a taxi there and booked another one back again. That is £16 on taxi fare yet she got everything free. Another mum who worked and had a husband who worked had to pay for her milk for her child and once she had paid out for the milk each week, her income was less than the mother who got everything free, these two women were not alone, we dealt with hundreds in the same position. You only have to be a fraction over the cut off point to receive benefits.

With regards to getting a stairlift and a wet room, I think we will have the whole house modernised and then when our money drops below the cut off point for benefits we can claim everything going, but we are not like that, we prefer to pay our own way, but when it comes to me being a carer for my husband, and there being a carers allowance for this, my state pension should NOT be taken into consideration as I have paid in since I was 15 years old and it is mine by right. My husband and myself have only our state pension coming in and my husbands Attendance Allowance, but when you fill in the forms and enter your savings, just because you are slightly above the savings limit you get nothing, so we are living on our state pensions and Attendance Allowance, our heating bills are £350 per month, Rates £150 per month, Water Rates £45 per month, not counting food, telephone bills, TV licence, Home insurance etc. so if you add up all these per month you get approx £800 per month going out and two full state pensions and attendance allowance coming in so that means we are dipping into our savings when we need house repairs doing, we have to pay for a handyman to do jobs for us, and gardener to keep the garden tidy.

All I want is what I should be entitled to, nothing more, nothing less, Carers allowance, it is there for a reason and should NOT be income related.

Like I said previously, if I had my time again, we would rent our home and spend, spend, spend and claim every damned benefit going.

I didn't say anything about a "winging, benefit chaser", that's your interpretation. What you had written got to me as you mentioned two specific things and neither are medical that anyone should expect to get under whatever grants scheme provides these if they can afford them. That was the point I was trying to make.

I had written a lot more but have deleted it as I'm just getting angry and need to back out of this blog. I've read some other comments made and I'm sorry to say I just don't feel able to say any more on this topic without breaking site rules.

I know you did not say anything about me being a winging, benefit chaser, I said you made me sound like one and I am sorry if you thought I meant otherwise.

We bought a halogen heater from amazon for about £12 it sends out a lot of heat and uses very little electricity. It may be of help to you I would be lost without it. Good luck.

thank you Gorden as always the voice of kindness and reason.

Linda X

i like what you say, i am a pensioner and yes i do struggle with bills and the risiing cost of living. i was never able to save while i was working what came in went out. i personally think unfortunately, to change subject slightly if the government put a cap on people from other countries comming here and being able to get benefits. they should take a leaf out of places like new zealand if you go there you cannot get benefits for 5 years you need a sponser unless you have a job and money to support yourself. you are not wanted. this would make a lot more money to go around for those who have lived and worked in this country all their life. i agree about people who have children and are left to support them on their own, but there are so many young girls and women in society who just have no understanding of life. my parents brought us up if you cannot afford to keep your children yourself you just do not have. be grateful that you have one and happy and well cared for child this how a lot of people think as well over the age of 65 as that is how we were taught. nowdays it seems if you want anything be unemployable, have loads of kids and sponge of the government and think its your right. its not. but it is wrong to think you are being outdone by officials as if you can afford something why complain get off your high horse as you have a stair lift so you could move to a flat or bunglow. no stair lift needed. sorry to go on but this is so silly sometimes. sweetthing think youself lucky. sorry gordon this should have gone to sweetthing.

There are many things that could be changed in this country, but we're trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted. The New Zealand system is a good one and that's why there are hundreds of migrants camped out near Calais trying to get into the UK, knowing that we're a soft touch and they'll be looked after.

A generation of latch-key kids lacked the control of parents to steer them through life, that developed into a further generation of mainly absent parents who wouldn't have known how to guide their children anyway, and now a generation that have no concept at all of wanting to do well in life. These are the ones who are happy to let Afghans, Poles, Kurds and so on have the low paid jobs while they spend their dole money in the pub. It's not right, but we're not going to see this system fixed in our lifetimes, if it changes at all.

There's only so much that can be given out in benefits and there are a lot of minority groups who will suffer. Pensioners, disabled, carers, they are the easy targets it seems. But, I've always had the belief that those that can afford the nice things in life are very fortune to be able to afford them and for that they should be grateful as being on or below the poverty line is no fun but you need to be there to apply for a grant for things like wet rooms.

I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad, slag them off, or belittle those who may even agree. I always try to have a reasonable approach and respond accordingly. This time I've got rattled as I cannot agree with some of the things being said and have had to back out rather than say something that could be taken badly.

hi sweething

i am so sorry things are bad, have you tried C.A.B or the benefits line, you dont have to say who you are, but put them in the picture as to whats been going on, im glad you have a stair lift now and are going to have a wet room, good luck you need a guardion angel to help you/ im thinking of you and good luck,

love jan xx

totallt agree with you iam still battling dla and will be on esa soon as ssp runs out from employer i have worked hard all my life also in mills at 6am worked whist bring up kids paid enough stamp for mt pension and now the goal posts been moved so must work longer and still battling for help bl....... joke i told them dla im wrong nationality

Sweetthing I know just how you feel.

I am a widow and along with my husband worked all my life only having 6 months of with each of my children(2).

My husband was in the army for 15 years but because he joined at 15 and served an apprenticeship he did not get a pension because it was classed as junior service in those days. He then worked until he died of cancer at 58. I continued working for a short time but then couldn't see the point any longer and left work (I lived on his insurance) and had to wait for my pension.

I have never asked for anything from anyone and although I now get mobility allowance I cannot get attendance allowance/careers allowance because guess what my husband was insured and I have too much money, this is a joke and I am trying to spend it as quickly as possible LOL. I pay for someone to help me around the house out of this money.

Yes I get angry especially when I meet up with people who have never worked and claim for every damn thing BUT I can hold me head high and I do not have to say thanks to anyone on Gods earth besides my self!!


Hi you can't get carers allowance because you are over state pension age. You only get it when you are under. That has been the rules for a long time now. Its nothing to do with how much state pension you get. The person being cared for can get attendance allowance though if they are state pension age or over.

Bev x

You are incorrect, if I did not have a state pension I WOULD receive Carers Allowance and I am 70. I have spoken to the Benefits office about it. If my state pension was less than the Carers Allowance, I would get the difference between the two made up to the amount of the Carers Allowance, i.e. if my pension was £35 per week and the Carers Allowance was £60 per week they would give me £25 to make up the difference.

I said that sweetthing because a pensioner friend of mine applied and was told she wouldn't get carers because she was retired.

That is what I was led to believe, my next door neighbour, also a friend, over 65, cant get carers but does get attendance allowance


I was told I couldn't get carers allowance because I am a pensioner, I dont get full pension because I took time out to be a mum when I was needed, then went to work in a school so that I had the school hours, when the kids were older I worked part time and I thought hey things can only get better. mmmmmmmmm in 1990 Richard had a stroke, and hasnt worked since, so i started work full time and we changed roles. We have never had a car, like gordon, our last holiday was many years ago, we went with our daughter and family to a cottage in the lakes so it only cost spending money, and it rained every hour of every day. At least that put me off holidays. Richard did get sickness benefit, but things were tight always, but we managed and never owed anybody anything. Then when I retired Richard started wih the ipf, we get a little council tax benefit and have just, thanks the hospice social worker, got full rate attendance allowance. Neither of us have life insurance, because it always seemed like money going out and not coming in, well thats scuppered us,but as my dad always said, nobody gets left on top. But hell, we're living , we're breathing, and we manage, which is a lot more than some people do, Main thing is always been happy, and have a lovely family, and if it wasnt for the ipf would be happier, but at least its not stopping us doing anything, cos we never went out on a regular basis.

Go onto the Carers website and you will see that if your pension is less than £58 per week you will get your pension made up to £58.

This is an example.

Carers Allowance - £58 per week

State Pension - £20 per week

Difference - £38 per week

The government will give you the £38 to enable you to get the full £58 per week carers allowance.

It depends on how many hours per week you are caring for someone, I care for my husband 24 hours per day 7 days a week, no respite.

If you get over the £58 per week in state pension you get nothing.

If you cannot find the website let me know and I will copy and paste it for you.

we are managing fine with the attendance allowance, the stair lift was fitted for free but only on a loan for 6 months, we'll face that problem in june, the way richard is declining, 6 months is a lifetime. If you buy a stair lift it will be there for you if you ever need it, meaning you can stay on in your home for longer should you want to, so in a way thats a bonus.

Hi Sweetthing,

Have you had the occupational therapists around to see your home? If not, why not! They can make recommendations and point you in the right direction for help.

Your Local Council will have grants available to help you pay for things you need, like a wetroom and stairlift. I've just recently had a wetroom installed, yes, I had to pay for half, but I wasn't bothered by that, as I really needed it and it's a God send.

I have my rants like you, it annoys me that we have paid tax and NI all our working life, but, these young things think the world owes them! It is now a unfair country we live in now.

Yes we have spoken to people about it and it all boils down to the fact that we are over our claiming limit.

Yes we can afford to have these jobs done, but it is the unfairness of it all.

I feel very strongly about this. It appears that you've got to be either very poor or very rich and not inbetween, we're inbetween because my parents saved for us kids and brought us up to save, they left us money when they died but we would be better off without it. Because of this money which is bringing hardly anything in because of the low interest rates, we can't claim a thing, but it does supplement my pension as I don't get a full pension because I opted to look after my kids. Best to spend the money or hide it under the mattress. My husband still works part time and he's 70 this year, when he retires we shall have to sell up and downgrade.

Lib x

Can you get attendance allowance? There is a cut off from some benifits at 65. Although there are others that start at 65. Anyone getting an allowance before 65 keeps it in later life. I would give age concern a call and see what you might be entitled to. They are a real help:-)

Yes we get Attendance allowance after a long fight and calling in our MP to help us.

It is the unfairness of it because if you do not save, work, have loads of kids you get nothing. Everything in this country is geared up for looking after the people who will not get off their backsides or come from a different country because they want a better life then try and turn their new country into the one they left with the help of our stupid government.

If we get Attendance Allowance we should automatically get Carers Allowance as they, in most cases, go hand in hand. If we did not own our house, or have a few dwindling savings in the bank, we would not have a care in the world as everything would be taken care of by the government.

My husband is in the same position he cares for me and our disabled daughter but because he has a full pension is not eligable for carers allowance. We would do the same and not save for our old age if we had the time over again. It is so unfair if he had the allowance he could afford to take some time off for himself.

Unfortunately i think the less people do in life the more they get rewarded and people who have worked hard all there life get sod all .one of my neighbours claims benefit claiming to be a suicidal person but has never been to hospital for anything until she gets a renewal form then gos screaming to her dr. Then spends all the money on drugs and gets away with it. No justice for those hard working people.

Sorry your having a big problem there, i am in the same boat.I found out if you have over £16k in the bank you are stuffed, like you i saved,and have worked most of my adult life,till heart attach 20years ago, i have COPD on oxy 24/7 but still able to get around the house.given up going out in the winter time as i find that really sets my COPD off, I wish you luck i don't want to put a damp squid on your hopes, things need to be changed.

Yes I agree, my husband is end stage, COPD/Bronchiectasis, lost three stones in weight. I push him in thhe wheelchair from one room to another and having a stairlift in next week. All I want is the Carers Allowance as I do not think that by getting my state pension (which I paid into all my working life) should be taken into account. We get Attendance Allowance which is NOT income related so why is Carers Allowance income related. Disgusting.

All Carers should be entitled to two things for certain and that is Attendance Allowance for the person they are caring for and Carers Allowance for themselves, and it should NOT, under any circumstances, be income related, Attendance Allowance is not income related so why is Carers Allowance.

If I did not look after my husband the way he needs to be looked after 24/7 then he would be spending more and more time in hospital. That would cost the Health Service more money and give me more time to myself, the heating bills would be lower as I would not have to have it on the high settings 24/7. I could go out with friends then visit him in hospital after, so for gods sake, give us carers the money we are entitled to even though we have our state pension. We need all the damned help we can get our hands on.

What is so ridiculous is that because I get a pension and have savings over £16,000 I cannot get Carers Allowance, but I would alsol have to pay if a carer came into our home to look after my husband. These carers get a wage for caring for people and it doesn't matter how much savings they have in the bank, we are in exactly the same position as them, we are carers and should be getting paid for doing a job, and if we didn't do the job as well as we do then the person we care for would be in hospital more and more. The only time I get time to myself, is when my husband is admitted to hospital, the last time it was for three weeks and it was like a holiday for me, I saw him every day, but could get my life back to normal for a short time. It got to the state that I was wishing he would be taken in again for a week to give me a break and I felt terrible about it, but that was the stress talking and when you are caring for someone 24/7 and are up through the night when they cannot breathe and are expected to carry on the next day it is soul destroying.

if everybody was able to have the same benefits whether rich or poor is crazy. there has to be a line unfortunately we have an open door for people from other countries hense not money in our bank.

young people who will not work young girls having no respect for themselves anymore and dish out babies by different men i think they need a sharp kick up the bum and their parents who think it is ok.

It takes two to get pregnant takeabreath. At least the girls take responsibility for bringing up the child. The boys don't - they do runners and don't pay towards the upkeep of their child. If boys and men were more responsible they would be keen to take action so their girlfriends don't keep popping out babies. Why is it always women who get the blame?

Well said hypercat, who are we to judge other peoples lives.



me too. paid into an employers pension too that gives a small pension that lifts me just above the level for all the extra help - pension credit, housing benefit etc etc .. I would have been better off not paying all that then and better off now !

thats what I have come across with a few friends, all the little extras that they paid into whilst working, now pay out very little against what they paid, and put them borderline,Richard got a private pension from his work when he took early retirement aged 47, it was a useful amount at the time, but has hardly gone up since, it doesnt go up with inflation. Its nothing much now, but it has always sat us on the fence between well off, never reached that, and poor, never reached that either thank goodness, but I had to work full time just to keep our heads above water, and never had luxuries. a way it was a good thing as it prepared us for pension age, we at least havent had to give up anything as we never had it in the first place.

I am in the same position.My employees pension amounts to just over £4 per week.Enough to take me just over the pension credit etc boundaries

once you hit retirement age, carers allowance is replaced by attendance allowance as far as I know

Katlover, yes you have it there ,but that is so unfair,don't let it rest here now keep pushing, benefits are not made easy to obtain not enough info avaiaqble till you start churning things up. then hey presto something happens. GIVE THIS A TRY ,BUT DON'T JUST SIT ON IT. Go get em


I agree with you Gordon. If you have the money look after your self and be proud of it.

NANCYGIRL - Yes, we do have the money to look after ourselves, and we are absolute mugs for doing it. What good is having your pride when you see your precious few savings disappearing slowly month after month because of having to buy stairlifts and walk in showers because your husband cannot get up the stairs or into the bath without being on his knees. We pay for handymen, electricians, gardeners because we cannot do these things ourselves, if we rented and had not saved a penny we would get everything given and all these jobs done for us.. I will say again, what good is having your pride when we are being taken for the biggest ride in history by this uncaring government.

Some people on here say move house. Why should we, this is our family home and has been since we got married and I have no intention of leaving, they will have to carry me out. If our house was rented and we had no savings, the council would give us a stairlift and install a walk in shower, do our gardening and any repairs.

Me too. I was always brought up with a work ethic. I have worked all my life and am proud of it. I wouldn't change it.

i do agree if you have money then spend it, there are those who do need help and are not able to or wrongly informed of how to get. and i am disabled and do get on with life live alone and have no savings and a pensioner. i live in housing association property and to get a wet room well what can i say, not enough money in the pot i was told so you get on with it. no good moaning because it will just bring you down.

Having read all this from start to finish, clearly it is an emotive subject so I decided to go away and consider things before I posted my thoughts on it and I am sure there will be people who will agree with me and disagree with me.

I think there is enough prejudice and intolerance in this world and I don't think it right to point fingers and make sweeping statements about any particular section of society not deserving of public assistance. Is that not what so many of us have fought against for so long because we have become disabled by COPD and how some of society perceive us 'disabled' people. Being less fortunate and having to rely on the state is not something that gives us any right to slate any more than anybody has the right to finger point at the disabled and say we don't deserve state help.

We have a system and as we all know, it has flaws and saying it has flaws may be a bit of an understatement but its the only one we have. They make mistakes but all of us, if a mistake is made, has the right to appeal their decision so that our cases are looked at more carefully and fully. Its not a perfect system but I think it does do what it can to help those who are in the greatest need and the operative words is need.

It is not a bottomless pot, every person pays into that pot the whole of their working life, every last one of us who has paid into that pot led their life paying into it knowing if we needed healthcare, it would be there. Every single one of us paid into that pot knowing it was there but hoping that we would never need to take anything from that pot - hoping we would be healthy our whole life.

I read a blog the other day and it really bothered me, one of us just mentioned in passing that they had not put their heating on because of the cost. Gordon, you brought that home to me again after reading your heartfelt comments. I have never been under any illusion that I am exceptionally lucky.

It didnt take any blogs for me to be aware of how fortunate I am in respect of us being reasonably comfortable but my husband and I are very lucky, we both had good jobs and we bought our house, it has 2 bathrooms and 3 toilets and I have never felt that I was entitled to that, I know I am fortunate. We both worked hard to get it but there is no entitled involved.

Since I had to give up work, we don't have a stack of money to throw around but we do ok. We can put the heating on when we want it on, actually, we don't even think about it, if it is cold, it goes on. One of my cats is off colour, I don't think about it, I take them to the vets and I travel 50 miles one way to the best vet in the region.

it is not COPD that has caused me to be disabled, my COPD is still very early stages but I am disabled non the less and my health is not good at all. There are things that would make my life more pleasant, easier, a wet room or stair lift would make my life easier but I dont NEED them and they are not essential to my health or life, an electric bed would be sheer luxury for me and there are other things that would make things easier for me.

It genuinely distresses me that anyone who has the means to pay for such luxuries, yes, luxuries because they are not, as Gordon said, medical equipment or essential is so resentful that the state wont pay for it. Please spare a thought for the fact that there are so many that have worked just as hard but through circumstances not of their own making dont even have central heating let alone can afford to turn it on

If I decided I would really benefit from a stair lift, we would scrape the money together, there would be no question that I would just thank my lucky stars that I was in a position that I could have one. The real help, stair lifts, wet rooms, any grants that are available, they should, without question be available to those who really need them and simply do not have the means to pay for them

I feel so fortunate to be in a warm house, don't have to think about how much I have the heating on, the state should make sure we are ok but for every £1 they give to anyone (including me) who does not genuinely need it takes it away from those of us who are in genuine need



Here here Kat. Well said. x

Well said Kat x

I wish this site had a thumbs up sign. If you read my earlier post I said I was really rather pleased that I could hold my head up even though I have the odd moan I know I am better of than lots of others


Very well said Kat, I so agree with you

ff x

Katlover, the point I am trying to make is that the Government is giving benefits to people who do NOT deserve it.

Some people on here are saying I should be grateful I have the money to buy a stairlift etc. the reason we have the money is because we scrimped and scraped all our lives to ensure we had some money for our retirement to enjoy on holidays etc, not to save the Government money by having to buy all our own medical needs. Yes a stairlift is a Medical need and so is a walk in shower, especially when your husband cannot get up the stairs or climb into the bath with collapsing.

We do not want to sell our house, my husband could not survive the move, it would kill him, he cannot walk from A to B never mind anything else.

Also Attendance Allowance has NOT replaced Carers Allowance. If I did not have a state pension I would get Carers Allowance. I was given a booklet and the first thing on the list stated 'If you get a full state pension then you cannot claim Carers Allowance', but if you receive a pension under £58 per week then you can claim for the difference.

I will not say anymore on the subject as it is offending some people but I still think that whether we can afford to buy our own stairlift or walk in shower is not the point, the point is we should not have to. Just because we had the forethought to save our money does not make it right for people who have spent theirs to get every benefit going.

totally agree hun xxxxxx

I agree with you up to a point sweetthing. But who then decides who deserves what? I would rather have the current system then some policitian making decisions like that. It would take us back to the old days where there were 'deserving poor' and 'non-deserving poor'. Who would you trust to make that decision?

My husband and I worked hard to get where we are, I still see myself as lucky because there by the grace of god go I......................... there are wonderful people in this community who have worked hard all their lives but still today can not heat their houses properly.

And I am not going to say anymore because I don't like the implication that those who do not have any financial stability did not work hard or scrimp and save all their lives

much of it is as much about luck and circumstance, not how hard we have worked

Benefits should be about our need for them, not that we have a right to them


Yes it should be about our need for them and we need them. Why should people who have not paid a penny into anything get everything there is going, that is my argument on this subject but I can see some people do not agree with me and that is fine, we all have our own opinions and I respect that. We have savings because of all the overtime we did when we were younger, it would have been so easy to spend it on what we wanted and not saved a penny for our retirement, but look where that has got us, we are saving the government money to give to people who are entering this country with nothing but the shirts on their backs, If I went to America, do you honestly think they would let me in without savings, of course they wouldn't, Great Britain is a milking pot for down and outs and it is the elderly and disabled that are suffering because of it,

It is not a case of either or sweetthing. There is plenty of money in this country for things we all need. But unfortunately it is in the hands of a very few people and aggravated by the rich companies and individuals being allowed to avoid taxes. Apparently this costs Britain 123 billion pounds a year. So do what I do - avoid those companies like starbucks and stars such as Jimmy Carr, Gary Barlow and Wayne Rooney. Those are only the ones we know about.

well said sweetthing

Thank you, I appreciate you seeing my side of this. I know I should be grateful for what we have in the terms of being able to buy our own medical equipment or an essential stairlift but we have the money only because we had the forethought to save money for the future many, many years ago but not for one moment did we envisage having to spend our money on these things in order for the Government to give money to people who wouldn't, and I do not mean people who couldn't, I mean the people who thought, sod it, I will spend, spend, spend and let the government look after me. I know people of my era, exactly in the same boat as we were in, but where we saved for our future, they went on exotic holidays, bought top of the range motor cars, their mortgages were twice what ours was, and all we got was, we have got this, we have got that, and then they could not afford their mortgage and went into bankruptcy.

They are on benefits now and are a damned sight better off than we are as everything is found for them, they still go abroad, drink and smoke and it makes me sick to the back teeth.

Sweetthing, I'm not trying to cause problems or argue with you, but you were not particularly happy with Auntymary commenting on you being lucky enough to afford a wetroom and stairlift if you wanted them and that sparked me off too as I could clearly see her point when you were going on about young mothers and all that, nothing to do with medical requirements.

We're not supposed to target other site users by name in this way just because they don't agree with you. "How can Auntymary say..." was the bit I refer to. She said it because she can, she is entitled to her opinion too and she was the one who said "We cannot ever know others' circumstances enough to judge them."

I'm happy to debate these topics as it can be healthy to know other people's points of view. I don't see myself as a 'never worked in his life benefits scrounger' type. I recently checked my NI contributions, because I'm concerned about my eventual pension (if I am still around in 10 years time) and found that I have 33 years of credits and 10 years to go, which is enough - at the moment. I worked hard until I had pneumonia 20 years ago, and it's been going downhill ever since. I've never been in a position to have savings but have been reasonably happy with my lot so far.

So you've met people who you feel have played the system and are getting benefits now that, in your opinion, they are not entitled to. I don't know them or their circumstances so can't relate to your obvious anger at this. If they're not entitled to benefits then you have the option to report them if you wish. From what you've said, you have as much coming in from pensions and allowances as we have from my wife's wages and my small pension.

Yes, you've upset me in a way, but I've not fallen out with you over this and I don't try and 'get at' people because they have beliefs, good or misguided. It is what it is, we live in Great Britain, there are things wrong with 'the system' and in many respects I can agree with you that some of it is unfair. But, you should be proud that you had the ability during working life to accumulate savings, and who knows what you were to expect in later life - you're able to do something about it.

Which would you rather have, pensions and savings that are helping you through retirement or having to fight for benefits because your home is freezing cold most of the time ?

Katlover, thank you - you sum it up for me when you say "Every single one of us paid into that pot knowing it was there but hoping that we would never need to take anything from that pot"

If everyone is happy to see benefits going to people who do not deserve them, then that is fine, but I am not happy about it, I do NOT know people on a personal level who do not deserve benefits as the people I were talking about who had large houses and spent all their money on exotic holidays now have nothing so they are entitled to the benefits they get, but I wish I had done the same, I do not wish to cause offence at all as you do have your own views and I honestly wish I had the same perspectives as you but I am absolutely sick and tired of seeing benefits given to people, who have not paid a penny into our system get every possible help there is.

I don't think any of us are happy that people who don't deserve benefits are getting them, and it is a source of annoyance. I've certainly not suggested I was supporting that.

We can agree to disagree, or have a compromise, but don't lets have anyone fall out over this please. We have to accept that we are all entitled to our own views and sometimes you have to have been in a situation to understand it. I see people all around me who are enjoying a better life than I've had, nice cars, going on holidays or whatever, but I cannot begrudge them for it if they choose to enjoy their money now and hope there's a benefits system left when they need it, or those who've managed to get benefits now that may outwardly look fit and well, but could be riddled with cancer or something.

I am not offended by your views in general, but was triggered into responding with your words about Auntymary. Did she deserve to be named and shamed for having a point of view too ? It wasn't as though she accused you of anything stronger than being a little judgemental. We don't need casualties amongst our own ranks when many of us can do without that sort of hassle.

The system is that if you have savings then you're expect to use them. I wouldn't argue with that if it were me. It could be that if you approached the council's adult service people they may agree to a partial grant and you only have to put some much towards a wet room, unless you try going down that route you'l not know.

Try and separate your views, leave the non-deserving types to one side and look more at people of your own age, in similar situations, similar requirements, but on different financial platforms and take a fresh look ? Life is a swine, we have to make the best of it...

I return to - but who decides they are not deserving? My parents worked hard all their lives but unfortunately my father was a gardner which doesn't pay well. Neither he or my mother having brought up 4 children could ever afford to save so they both got full pensions and related benefits. As far as I'm concerned they both deserved all they got!

Sweething, your saved money for your rainy day, this is your rainy day. When my mum finally went into a care home once her savings were exhausted, we had to sell her house and pay the fees out of that. It broke her heart thinking we would get nothing, all we were worried about was her, not what she left us. There are many people abusing the system, you're right and even a relative of my own who has worked very little in her life, despite having a degree and a separate teaching degree, now gets enough in benefits to support her and her husband in a pretty good way. She has a far less serious disability than I do and manages very well, yet gets the higher rate care element, I get the low rate. And her husband gets money via social services as carer, there is nothing she can't do, she has one leg shorter than the other and a replacement knee, that's it! She has a husband to help with her personal needs on occasion, I don't. I understand how you feel, but don't let it bring you down so much, you'll drive yourself mad. Where I live now hardly anyone works, the children have children and so it goes on and on. Used to make my blood boil, now I've come to terms with it and thank God my son chose to live the right life, work and make something of yourself. Yes, he pays into the system but I hope more than anything he never needs to take anything out. I worked for 37 years and paid into a private pension for years, yet now my housing benefit is reduced by the amount that pays out. I took a lump sum from it early on and used that for some things to make my life easier. What was left I put in an ISA and it doesn't exceed the £6,000 I am allowed before my HB is reduced even more. Anything I get to put by now, usually out of my DLA, stays in a safe place away from prying eyes! Libby

Apply for attendance allowance it's far more than carers allowance, get the backing of their GP and it may be worth paying the £10 for a list of the medical conditions they have from their GP, the person will have to do this request themselves and someone could drop it in the surgery and pay and ask if they will post them out to the patient, some will print off a free copy others won't. Use NHS Choices to look up medical conditions and to check effects of medications.

What they don't tell anyone without enough contributions is that they may be entitled to top up benefits as the state pension is just enough for the person to live on. In a way it's like the law says you need £XXX to live on and by not having a full state pension they will pay other benefits like income support to top up the pension which in turn may mean entitlement to reduced rent and council tax payments.

Please stop thinking about what other people are having that should not have and spend your money on enjoying your life as much as you can, make life happy for you and your husband and be grateful that you can. Dont be bitter

Hi sweetthing

I have not read all the other comments because there are so many.

But I am in the same boat my husband has COPD and is on oxygen 24 hours a day and takes many tablets including warfarin. I did not really know anything about 'benefits' someone suggested I should apply for Attendance Allowance. We both get the state pension, I am 65 and my husband is 73.

The form is quite long to fill in but with the backing of our doctor we were given the allowance quite quickly. It means that I do not have to worry trying to do part time to help with our income.

Have you applied for it it? It would seem that this would be a great help to you.

Please let me know.


A lot of anger, resentment and judgments here, some I agree with and others I just cannot.

I always thought that saving for our old age and retirement was for being able to look after ourselves and if we were able to do this in our younger working days then we should be proud of it, but to look down and judge those who were unable to save, due to many reasons, that we do not know of or understand. I am almost 73, have no state pention because I married young, had 5 children of who I can say with pride I looked after until the youngest one went to school, then got several part time jobs to help with their needs. If we worked part time we did not pay full stamp, so thats one reason why no state pention. My husband earned a moderate wage which we managed on with no handouts. Then further along I divorced and married again, my husband being younger than me and was in full time work meant that, that too went against my getting a state pention. I do get full attendance allowance as I have arthritis in most of my body and have COPD, Emphasemia and Asthma. My husband is now my carer and managed to get carers allowance, I also get pention credit. We own our own house but find it is becoming more and more expensive to run. The point I am trying to make is that though I had it hard in the early days I did manage to keep my head held high, proud of our achievements because never having relied on handouts but saved what little we had I never look down on anyone who have nothing and hold no resentment towards anyone, male or female who fell down on luck for there are some very genuine cases out there and they really do need the help, some get it, some have to fight for it, but if they are genuine I pray they get looked after! I am one of the lucky ones and get by on the little savings me and my husband have and the benefits we receive. Please try not to be too judgmental or resentful of anybody, just be proud of all you have achieved and are able to afford.

Yes the government do need to look into what is happening to the senior citizens of our country and also the poor and needy, and genuinly disabled, of that I agree with. Hope I havn't offended anyone on here, I particularly did not put names for that very reason, but just felt I had to say something. Just don;t give up if you are finding it hard to receive carer's allowance or attendance, keep trying, there are many people in the know who may be able to help and advise. Don't get stressed out, makes you ill so Good luck and breathe easy everyone.

I love what you said stitch, so objective, so fair minded, so unbiased.

And the moral of the story, if we don't want to be labeled 'LTB' then no other group deserves to be tarred with any sort of label



I think there is a lot of 'grass is greener on the other side of the fence' going on here. No doubt each of us has things to be thankful for as well as feelings of unfairness. Life just isn't fair and never has been. The biggest unfairness on this site is that many of us are having our lives cut drastically short - and some don't even have a partner or carer to share their troubles and fears with. Yes money helps, whether it is state paid or otherwise, but it pales into insignificance compared to the difficulties and grief that many of us face.

Thank you to everyone whether you agree with me or not, but the original blog I posted was about me not being able to claim Carers Allowance because I had a full state pension due to my paying the full stamp and paying extra to build it up so when I did retire I would be able to claim it. I care for my husband 24/7, 12 months of the year.

See below the details about Carers Allowance. It contradicts itself on so many points. (I have copied and pasted it so there were no mistakes.)


'Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record.'


It states it is NOT based on your income or savings or your National Insurance Record, then it contradicts itself by stating if you earn over £100 per week or get a full state pension you do not qualify. Well my pension is down to a National Insurance record and my pension is an income so can someone please tell me what it does mean.

I have broken it down.

1) Carers allowance is not means tested, in other words not based on your income (my income is my pension).

2) It is not based on your National Insurance Record (my pension is my National Insurance Record)

This is the reason why I am so angry about it.

How many more people have taken this at face value and have not taken it further, well I am going to take it further and will inform you of the outcome.

Hi Sweetthing,

I lose my Carers Allowance in May when I start receiving my state pension. It agree it is unfair and completely illogical. In order to qualify for CA you need to provide care for 35 or more hours a week (if I recall correctly), hence - you are WORKING for your CA. You can work and still receive CA, although the amount you can earn is capped. There isn't any logic to it, since how much a person can earn is dependent on their skills and not the number of hours worked. As you say though it's contradictory since clearly that is an income test, if it wasn't income dependent you would be limited to the number of hours you could work outside doing your caring job rather than the amount of money earned.

On top of that all, you can work as many hours as you like for as much money as you can get and receive a state pension. My sister-in-law is in that position, she gets her full state pension and is employed. The only difference is that her wages no longer have N.I. taken out.

It is illogical through and through why anyone would lose their CA as long as they meet the requirement for the number of hours spent caring. Pigs will fly though before the situation changes.

Meant to add that the further ridiculous part of this is that someone else could care for your husband and they could get CA as long as they met the requirements. You don't have to be a relative or even living in the same home to receive CA.

Ignoring all the ins and outs of what's been said here over the weekend - I wish you all the best in the world in trying to sort this out. I didn't know much about carers allowance before this, but I have been looking and if there's anything I can do to help I will try for you.

I have to say that the signs are not good though. Looking at's-Allowance.htm tells me "You may not be able to claim Carer's Allowance in full if you are already receiving certain other benefits at certain rates. These are called overlapping benefits. For example, State Retirement Pension." give a list of the criteria, better than I found on the official site. :

To get Carer’s Allowance you must meet all the following conditions:

You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.

You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week.

You are aged 16 or over.

You are not in full-time education.

You earn £100 a week or less (after deductions).

You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.

(It also seems to be the source of the line you cut and pasted above)

Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record.

I guess the sticking point is as you've mentioned, the state pension you get is above the 'earnings' limit. Any challenge to the DWP would have to be on the lines of pension not being earnings ?

This seems to be the brick wall :

If your pension is more than £58.45 a week you won't actually get CA but you will still have an "underlying entitlement" to it, which may help you to get means tested benefits.

and that's explained more at

I've only touched the surface here, but thought it would help others understand what the issues are. I would not want you to miss out on something you are entitled to and hope there's some way to sort this out.

I'm off to the doctors shortly but will have another look later.

You are correct Gordon57, it seems the government cannot make up their minds whether state pension is an income or should not be taken into account as stated on their Carers Allowance webpage.

If it should not be taken into account then a lot of people are entitled to Carers Allowance.,

Sorry to say that you're probably only giving yourself a headache on this - I've had a few words with people who help sort out claims for people in their care and they say the statement on "If your pension is more than £58.45 a week you won't actually get CA but you will still have an 'underlying entitlement' to it, which may help you to get means tested benefits." is the one they have to accept as the definition.

In your own messages you quote "You earn £100 a week or less" as part of the criteria and, as I pointed out, it's a case of pension being counted as earnings/income, which they seem to say is the case.

Great that you've written to your MP to get clarification on this, but I've a feeling you'll not get the reply you're hoping for.

But, claim it anyway. I'm not saying the DWP will make a mistake and pay you but you may be entitled to other things, see:


Your household income might not be greater after claiming CA, since it overlaps with other benefits, but there are advantages to claiming. If you are entitled to CA, even if it can't be paid because of other benefits, you might get:

- A carer premium included in your income support, income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA), housing benefit, council tax benefit or health benefits. The premium is included if you get CA or have an underlying entitlement to CA but receive an overlapping benefit instead. An addition equivalent to the carer premium can be included in the calculation of pension credit.

- National Insurance (NI) contribution credits or help towards satisfying the NI contribution conditions for contributory ESA and JSA.

- Help to qualify for additional state pension.

- A £10 Christmas bonus.

Hi Gordon, thanks for all that, but it still does not answer the question of why does it state that National Insurance contributions i.e. state pensions are NOT included when you claim for Carers Allowance. They then turn round and call it income, why does it state in black and white National Insurance contributions are NOT included when claiming for careers allowance. This is the question I want answered, if they are taking pensions into account when claiming for this benefit, then the form wants amending to state this.

I have a feeling that no matter what anyone says, and how many organisations have explained the criteria, you will not accept the way the system works.

I think the information you copied was from the Carers UK site, although a few organisations seems to have copied from each other as the wording is identical. Can I point you to their explanation at

'but earnings may affect your entitlement' remains part of your quoted information and you say it then contradicts itself, whereas I see it as clarifying.

I've tried but can't go any further on this one as they all agree on how the rules work. It is you who says it is a contradiction and if you explain it as such there are bound to be people who will agree with you.

The page I refer to clearly says "State Pension and Carer's Allowance are classed as 'overlapping' benefits, essentially they are classed by government as the same thing - a payment in lieu of paid working. So you cannot get both."

I hope I've been able to show you that this is very well documented and you are wasting your time and effort trying to prove otherwise as everything you refer to has clauses they will use to prove that mermaids exist, if they have to.

As I said previously, the challenge to the DWP would be to define 'earnings' and there are so many references to 'earnings replacement' that your argument is defeated before you start.

Seriously, you're not going to defeat the DWP on this. BUT, do apply for it so you are registered on the system for other things - I mentioned in my last post a link to Dial Doncaster and there's a line about "Help to qualify for additional state pension." that may be more beneficial to look into ?

I copied and pasted this :- Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. From April 2012 the weekly rate is £58.45

To get Carer’s Allowance you must meet all the following conditions:

You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.

You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week.

You are aged 16 or over.

You are not in full-time education.

You earn £100 a week or less (after deductions).

You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.

Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record.

So it says carers allowance is not based on your national insurance record, to me that mean state pension., therefore your state pension should not be in the equation.

That is in black and white and no-one can say it is not what it says. If it is incorrect then someone wants to get it sorted out now, because if there has been a mistake made with these rules and regulations, how do we know that the rules that are being followed now are wrong, and the above are the right rules to follow.

I will say no more on the subject until this is clarified by my MP.

It is NOT black and white, the website page you've referred to is noted as a summary, not the definition, at :- - However, you have not quoted it all - it goes on to say "This is a summary of the rules, however please note that if you get other certain benefits this can complicate things. This is particularly the case if you get a state pension, in which case you should read our advice to pensioners. "

Please click where it says "our advice to pensioners. " and read the next page, please... The very first line says it all, in black and white.

If you want to argue with your MP about the wording of the Carers UK summary then that's up to you. Where does it say that "National Insurance record" is your state pension? It does not, it's your choice of wording again and you are misleading those reading what you say, not what the Carers UK site says.

There's been a lot of clouding of the real issue in how you started this blog, hopefully it's gone past the confusion and found what needed to be clarified. I've gone as far as I intend looking on this now and anything further is up to you, I have tried to help, I have pointed you at all the information that applies. I have genuinely tried to help you on this but you don't seem to be looking beyond what you want to see.

I searched the Nation Insurance Record site and it states record of your state pension.

Please do Sweetthing. I am a carer for my mum and have a very small pension (£150 per month) this is my total income.For the past two years I have had to supplement this income out of my savings for things like food and heating. I'v hardly got anything left now. I am due to get my state pension in May and because I worked I will get the full amount. I have been told that I will then lose the careers allowance does this mean my mum will no longer need caring for in the gov. eyes?

Sweetthing, if you look at the website & specifically this page

it does seem that, as a few others have said, although there is no upper age limit for carer's allowance, you're unlikely to get it if you're of state pension age, though if you qualify for pension credit you might get the carer's premium (I'm guessing you don't qualify though, from what you've said

I can't for the life of me understand the logic whereby your entitlement to state pension should cancel out carer's allowance - they should be entirely separate - but there it is, unfortunately

ff x

Oh Stitch you made me cry! my Mam loved Johnny Cash and this is an old favourite of ours! reminds me of happy days, I love the line '' I'd love to wear a rainbow everyday and tell the world that everything's okay!'' :)

It took a long time to read this post and I feel for everyone out there who's having it tough, but just remember that we are all eternal beings of light, having a 'human' experience so lets all take a breath ( of life ) and enjoy each moment at a time the best we can! :) :) ;)

Oh yes one more thing I think it was I the unfortunate soul who was afraid to turn the gas on for fear of it running out ( and leaving me without hot-water or cooker) Luckily for me I've known the coalman and his family since I was a youngster and they let me have some on 'tick' Bless them, so I'm surviving, sat by a roaring ( bad for my copd ) fire but good for my icy cold blocks of meat! Best news though is today a brown letter arrived, telling me I'm to get some DLA !!! so also remember ''if at first you don't suceed...try, try, again!'' I feel my Mam is smiling and saying put some more Johnny Cash on Darlings! :D

I think I need a brandy coffee now or maybe a guinness....:D LOVE YOU ALL XXXX :D

That is excellent news and glad you have got your fire going

Fully endorse the 'if you don't succeed.....' motto, DWP dont always get it right the first time, admin staff cant make individual assessments based on medical information and sometimes takes the medical professionals to see the person behind the tick boxes.



I rang Age UK this morning and they have agreed what is written down on the Carers Allowance details page totally contradicts what you can get.

i.e. It states your state pension is NOT taken into account when you claim for Carers Allowance.

It states Carers Allowance is NOT means tested. i.e. your savings and any income under £100 is not taken into account when you claim for Carers Allowance.

I do not have any earnings (income) apart from my state pension which as it states is not taken into account when applying for Carers Allowance.

I told the lady at Age UK that I was writing to my local MP and she said I should.

The problem is that on one hand they state State pension is not taken into account when claiming on the other hand they are calling state pension income which states you cannot claim carers allowance if your income is over £100.

So this is the question, IS STATE PENSION AN INCOME OR NOT. if it is NOT an income then we should be able to claim for Carers Allowance. It seems to me the people who made up these rules and regulations cannot make their minds up what is an income and what isn't.

I am writing to my local MP to get this sorted out. This affects many more people than you could imagine as thousands of people are on state pensions and caring for people full time and are being turned down due to the fact that the government are stating state pensions are not taken into account but stating state pensions are in fact income. So come on you government pen pushers please tell me what the heck is going on.

I am pretty sure that yes, state pension is classed as income, it is certainly taken into account with regard to income tax.

I have just started a new blog about it and written to my MP as it states, and you can read everything I have written, that State Pension is NOT taken into account neither are savings, when applying for Carers Allowance. The problem arises from the fact that the government are also referring to state pension as income. It is either income or not we need to know.

Even Age UK say it is contradictory, so I am going to find out one way or another.

the cheating of people on benefits is a tiny tiny percentage of the tax cheaters - that's just the illegal tax evasion, not including all the 'legal tax avoidance. yet much more is spent on catching benefit cheats ---- not surprising I guess that the government has upped the propoganda to justify this and the cuts that hurt so many. I was lucky to be in the positionof being able to contribute to the country's needs through tax and NI.... even though it has not resulted in much help in later life for me personally, think of everything we helped build through our contributions...that very unfortunately are currently being whittled away by the government. We need to grow a sense of social responsibility generally methinks.... still leaves room for a personal grumble too of course :) xx

Are we discussing need or greed when judging other cases less worthy. They should be removed putting in place a more deserving case that has put in more therefore deserves more out, not on a needs basis that leaves the poor stigmatized and fighting over scraps from a welfare budget that is rightly based on need and qualifying for benefit not an entitlement for more that would deprive the less fortunate.

We are discussing the right to claim benefits, need or greed does not come into it, if you are entitled to claim them, even if you have some money in the bank, why should you forgo the benefits that you are entitled to in order to pay for them out of your own pocket. I have paid into this system since 1958 and have never, ever claimed a penny, now I think it is time I did, if I wasn't entitled to the benefits then I would not be making such a fuss, but I am entitled to them and it says so in black and white, and that is why I am sticking to my guns.

Why should I sit back and think, oh, I have paid in all these years but never mind, the government needs the money for less fortunate people than me so I will not bother claiming, if I am entitled, I am claiming. I have enough on my plate at the moment and am saving the government thousands by looking after my husband 24/7 without a break and keeping him out of hospital. so if I am entitled to claim a benefit I will and if that makes me greedy then I am greedy.

It's not about greed with you it's about clarifying the rules and regulations of benefits and for that I applaud you .xx

Thank you very much, your words are really appreciated.

I copied and pasted this from the Carers UK Site, can you please read it and tell me if you think I am mis-interpreting it somehow.

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. From April 2012 the weekly rate is £58.45

To get Carer’s Allowance you must meet all the following conditions:

You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.

You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week.

You are aged 16 or over.

You are not in full-time education.

You earn £100 a week or less (after deductions).

You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.

Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record. ##########

I have put a mark### against the place where it states It is not based on your National Insurance record (i.e. state pension) so am I mis-reading this. This is what I am trying to point out, why does it say Carers Allowance is not based on your National Insurance record, i.e.state pension when everybody else says it is. It is written in Black and White and if this information is incorrect then it wants amending ASAP>

"State Pension and Carer's Allowance are classed as 'overlapping' benefits, essentially they are classed by government as the same thing - a payment in lieu of paid working. So you cannot get both".

And it does not matter how much you paid into the pot, they will not give you two benefits that are paid in lieu of working

Please read this I copied and pasted from Carers UK website.

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. From April 2012 the weekly rate is £58.45

To get Carer’s Allowance you must meet all the following conditions:

You look after someone who gets a qualifying disability benefit.

You look after that person for at least 35 hours a week.

You are aged 16 or over.

You are not in full-time education.

You earn £100 a week or less (after deductions).

You satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.

Carer’s Allowance is not means-tested – in other words not based on your income or savings – but earnings may affect your entitlement. It is not based on your National Insurance record.


Please note, it states Carers Allowance is not based on your National Insurance Record, i.e. state pension. It is written in Black and White so you can't get away from that.

No-where does it say the if you get a state pension you cannot claim Carers Allowance.

I am saying no more on this subject as people are getting irate because I will not back down and agree they are right. I can read and have copied and pasted what was written down so if it is incorrect that is not my fault. I await my MP's reply.

I've just sent you a private message on this. Yes, people are getting irate, and not without reason.

If you prefer I can make that message public.

Please make it public.

Im 59, worked full time all my life and got full NI contributions. My JSA is 71.70 a week plus I get some DLA making 94.70 a week. I own my own flat. Out of that pittance I have to pay all my bills except council tax. My savings are going down fast. I will probably never manage to get work again in a recession. I have basically been thrown on the scrapheap! I sit here in winter with 1 bar on my fire (I don't have central heating or modern windows and can't afford them) with 2/3 layers on. I can't get my pension until 65. If anyone should be bitter I should. There is no more help for me I have checked!

But hey ho there are lots of people worse off then me (most better its true) but I don't envy them one bit I am quite happy. I have my own home, family, friends and I manage with what I have. Life is much too short and sweet to worry about what other people have. Of course I would love holidays, a car and being able to do repairs to my home but what the hell. It doesn't matter as long as I can survive. I choose not to be bitter or envious of others - my mother always was and bitterness and envy ruined her life. My life is my own and my own responsibility. I trundle along in my own little world and make the most of it using my time to enjoy myself and have as much fun as possible. Thats to me what life is about.

Bev x

I applaud your attitude Bev, you're quite right of course. You could waste your days seething with annoyance at other people being better off, then when you're 90 what have you got to look back on? Just anger and bitterness. Or you can choose to have a sunnier attitude as you do and make the most of what you have, then you have lots of lovely memories. Loving family and friends are what make for a happy life. I don't envy anyone, it's a waste of emotion. I have a wonderful family & some great friends, who would always help me if things got desperate - that's all I need

ff x

Just came across this thread, and it seems to me that while we are discussing people who cheat the Benifit system, or single mums ( my mum was on her own with us) or immigrants (my dad pitched up here from Ireland in the 30's) etc etc, we are not noticing that 70 billion pounds that was lost last year in tax avoidance and avation, 1 billion in Benifit cheating. Mmmmmm 69 billion pounds difference. Quote from radio 4 this morning - 'if everyone paid an extra 1 1/2 p in the pound no one would have to sell their house to pay for their care in their old age. Now I don't mind doing that, and the children of single mums, well they might be changing my bed when I need that level of care, or serving me in the chippy, lets not be divided, that way we won't to ruled, peace to all x x x

This will be my last Blog on this site as I have been informed I am in danger of getting egg on my face and many people are upset by my comments, also a copy of the persons private message to me has also been sent to the Moderators, and that because I can afford a stairlift, wet-room/£350 per month heating I should be grateful.

I will however, have just one last word on the subject.

I spoke to someone in the know this morning, as I wanted to know what the undermentioned meant as it contradicted everything else I had read about. i.e.

'National Insurance records are NOT taken into account when claiming Care Allowance' .

I was told, thread through the needle, that it meant the following :-

1) If you paid your full National Insurance Stamp and got a full pension and if it was over £100 per week then you could not claim Carers Allowance.

2) If you paid your National Insurance Stamp and your pension was under the £58 per week, the shortfall would be made up in order for you to claim the £58 per week Carers Allowance.

3) If you had not paid any National Insurance contributions whatsoever, you would get the full Carers Allowance.

All the above of course has to take into account other circumstances such as age, how many hours you care etc. etc. which I do not disagree with.

As you have all said in the past, I have been down-trodden all my married life and I was told to 'make my stand and stick up for myself', when we started getting refused for different benefits I made my stand and started looking into why. The results were because we had saved all our lives we got nothing but people who didn't save (and I did not say could'nt save because of circumstances beyond their control) I said didn't save, get everything.

So sorry if you have all been offended by my remarks but many people on here have complained about their living conditions, saying I should be thankful I have got the money to spend, so they should do what I have been trying to do, find out why the people who do nothing, get everything.

I will no longer be a part of this community as it was the last thing on my mind to upset people, but I will have one last word, it is no-ones business but my own whether we can afford a wet-room or a stairlift or anything else for that matter, we have worked all our lives to have this luxury and I should not be penalised by this government for doing so.

So sorry.

As I am the one who sent a private message, and said so, I will do as I have been asked and make my comments public.

In that private message I went over the way she had confused many people as to what her argument was. Was it people getting benefit who didn't deserve it, unmarried mothers having kids to different dads, paying into a system and not getting the benefits when you retire, being able to get a wetroom and stairlift as medical items and much more.

I made a personal comment about her spending £350 a month on heating, and said I wish I could afford to have the heating on all day. I also went back on something AuntyMary had said, that I supported, about if you can afford luxuries, like the stairlift etc., then lucky for her. Her comment about living in a council house and getting it all for free really annoyed me, so I said as much.

I said that I had felt like reporting her to the moderator for her repeated re-pasting of the information from the Carers UK site, which was incomplete and because I felt that was misleading people. Instead I had one last try, and sent her the Private Message, with the Moderator copied in.

Sweetthing keeps quoting the same bit of information over and over, from the Carers UK website. - - and saying it supports her case to get the allowance.

But, she was not quoting it all. That page goes on to say "This is a summary of the rules, however please note that if you get other certain benefits this can complicate things. This is particularly the case if you get a state pension, in which case you should read our advice to pensioners." (my highlighting)

Please go to where it says "our advice to pensioners." and click to read the next page, please... The very first line says it all, in black and white. -

Carers UK is a separate website altogether to the official GOV.UK ones, and should not be taken as being the total story. If they've made a mistake in how they have worded things then that's hardly the basis for writing to an MP and stamping feet.

I felt that Sweetthing was trying to mislead people into taking her views, simply by not giving them the full story. I've given links here to the Carers UK site, where she got her information, so others can go read for themselves. I have tried to help sort out the 'black and white' for her, but if she does not want to accept it then I can do no more.

I had tried to point her to the clarification she needed, to show that the very site she was pasting information from was in fact telling the same story as all the rest. I warned her that by continuing to go on about this that she could end up with egg on her face.

Yes, I have got irate with the way she went off-topic so many times, instead of looking at what she felt was wrong and dealing with that. I have got irate that she has been so blinkered in her views that she has refused to accept the information I found, quite easily. I went out of my way to look at Carers Allowance, something I'd not read much about, to find the correct information from many other sources too.

I was irate that she then carried on pasting the same bit of the Carers UK site on here, as though it were the definitive statement. The next line was missing from what she quoted, and I said that I felt she had mislead people through doing that.

But, throughout it all my aim was to help her, and I am now irate she's dismissed the time I spent trying to do that for her and still insists that she is right. I've not been abusive or misleading towards anyone.

I note that her message ends with further muddying of the waters, saying that we should try and "...find out why the people who do nothing, get everything." which is nothing to do with the Carers Allowance topic, again. Also "... it is no-ones business but my own whether we can afford a wet-room or a stairlift or anything else for that matter, we have worked all our lives to have this luxury and I should not be penalised by this government for doing so." - but it was Sweetthing that brought that up herself, which was bound to attract comments.

Sorry, but I feel this is someone who will refuse to accept help, even when it is offered by many and the same information given. She chose to turn that back on me and I'm sorry that I now have to publicly apply that egg.

I'm not asking for anyone to start a fan club on either side, just to understand that I'm upset it has come to this and there was no reason. I've not asked her to leave, that is her decision and seems to be based on me trying to help her - I don't understand her reasoning.

A final word, to anyone who is going to say "...I think your wrong, but I've not read all the messages..." - Please don't. Several people have failed to see the point and have put messages up that clearly show they have not read what has gone before. It does not help.

Don't go sweet thing, I love your fighting spirit, you started a great debate, and freedom of speech is a great thing, got me thinking, as it did others, for myself I would like to see a ' from each according to thier means to each according to their needs'-which should be the spirit of the welfare state, think you are a fantastic women and I wish you well x x x

The undermentioned is an EXACT copy and paste of the private message sent to me and my reaction to it.


16 hours ago

Dear Sweetthing,

Please be assured that I am not trying to belittle you or make out you are trying to cheat the system. I always try and be fair and reasonable in replies I give but I have to say you are annoying me with some of the things you have put and I have debated reporting these to the moderator to either edit them out or delete them as they have caused a lot of bad feeling between people on the site and I don't want anyone to be taking sides, especially as a lot of them have not read the whole thing and just jump in with both feet in their mouths! ;)

I've included the Moderator in this message so the BLF are aware of what I am saying here, that there are no threats or nasty comments. I don't do that. I'd just like to see an end to the topic as I feel it's getting a bit silly now.

The topic started out with you going on about working, getting a pension, paying into the system and not being able to get Carers Allowance. You also threw in the stairlift and wetroom and many comments about people who did not deserve benefits as they'd never paid into the system. Far too much information for a lot of people to take in and some thought you were on about minorities who come into the country and grab what they can - which isn't a topic I feel happy seeing on here, it's not the place. You also went on about girls with children to different dads, what has that got to do with it ?

You said "How can Auntymary say we are lucky we can afford to buy our own stairlift and wet room..." - because she, like everyone else, is entitled to their opinion. I agree with her on that one, if you can afford it then you have that luxury. Later on you said "If our house was rented and we had no savings, the council would give us a stairlift and install a walk in shower, do our gardening and any repairs." - oh, if only it was that easy!

You've strayed off the topic many times, and people have argued about what you've put. More topics have appeared to support both sides of the unnecessary arguments.

I am amazed you spend £350 a month on heating, it makes me feel even colder. As it stands we have the gas fire on in short bursts to air the room, not heat it. The wall heaters in the bedroom are on for an hour or so before bedtime, then are off during the night and not on at all when we get up, so it's freezing. No point putting them on to get dressed, they don't warm up that quick. Think yourself lucky you can afford to have the heating on - we can't afford it and we're not eligible for benefits that would help us.

That's just one example of where I am really fuming inside, wetroom, stairlift, heating - and then you're arguing about not being able to claim carers allowance? Right - lets forget all the other stuff now and concentrate on the problem itself.

Here's the bit I think I should be reporting - you keep quoting the same bit of information over and over, which is from the Carers UK website. - - and saying it's supporting your case to get the allowance.

But, you're not quoting it all are you ? That page goes on to say "This is a summary of the rules, however please note that if you get other certain benefits this can complicate things. This is particularly the case if you get a state pension, in which case you should read our advice to pensioners. "

Please click where it says "our advice to pensioners. " and read the next page, please... The very first line says it all, in black and white. (

I feel that you are trying to mislead people into taking your views, simply by not giving them the full story. I've put links to the Carers UK site, where you get your information, so others can go read for themselves. I have tried to help sort out the 'black and white' for you, but if you don't want to accept it then I can do no more.

I didn't want to be putting any more into the blogs as some people think there's a battle going on aas the waters were already muddy.

I just hope you'll understand that I am trying to stop you getting egg on your face here and have tried to help as best I could.





4 hours ago

I appreciate your comments, and yes . perhaps I have strayed off the path, but this was only because I was getting comments all the time and each one deserved a different answer, that is all. By all means report me to the moderator and if I am barred so be it, as far as i am concerned I have not been abusive to anyone, I have my own thoughts on the matter and if everyone was like me and fought the unfair system then perhaps you, me and many others would not be in the position we are in today, we would get what we are due and rightly deserve. When you go public with your comments, I will go public with mine. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.




1 hour ago

Oh dear, you are obviously not willing to look at this properly so I'm simply going to stop trying to help you after this reply.

The reason to report would have been to stop you copying the same bits of the Carers UK site over and over, without the vital bit that actually gives you your answer but you are not copying. I copied the Moderator into this private message thread so there could be no doubt that I was actually trying to help you.

I have detailed it all above and if you can't see past your own agenda then there is no point trying to carry on. I will put the information in the public area and let others see, many have already tried to tell you what the situation is and you're just ignoring good advice.

Nobody is forcing you to leave. If you've chosen to take offence, both here and in the public area, so be it. I tried.


In this message

sweetthing sweetthing

Moderator Moderator

Gordon57 Gordon57


I have informed this gentleman that I do not want private messages sending to me, I am not ashamed of anything I have said and I see no reason whatsoever for messages being sent that cannot be seen by the community.

Thank you all for your comments and remarks even if you did not agree with mine, I respect you for it.

I have not received any request regarding sending of private messages, but will not do so anyway as I made it clear my attempts at helping were over. This was never meant to be a major dispute.

I am not ashamed either. People will make up their own minds, but I guess that most are simply fed of of hearing about it now.

To everyone

I'm informed by the Moderator that I may have 'crossed the line' in my private message. I can't see where myself, but if I've offended anyone, including Sweetthing, then I apologise. That was never the intention. Throughout it all, I've tried to help, as I always do.

I will not be taking any further part in this topic but reserve the basic right of reply if required.

With all due respect, I'm not trying to solicit support for either side as we'll end up with a split of people for and against, which will not help matters.

Both parties have said they want to end the matter, one to wait for a reply from their MP and the other because they've gone far enough in trying to help. The moderator is aware and will step in if anything gets out of hand.

There's been a lot of confusion with other people taking up the many other points raised, apart from the benefit issue I covered, which has caused bad feeling and I'd much prefer that we all move on and leave this alone now.

Here is a copy of the comment I have put on the thread "Carers Allowance what I have done"

I think it is time to move on - there appears to be nothing else that can be said about this issue - so please no more comments or opinion on this discussion - they will only be deleted.

No-one should feel the need to leave the community - no-one is being asked to leave.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it doesn't breach community rules - regardless of who thinks who is right or wrong.

Thank you

Please feel free to use the report button should anyone see any other comments added to this discussion - that way moderators can take action quickly.

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