CARERS ALLOWANCE AND WHAT I HAVE DONE

We have been having quite a lot of discussions about benefits these last two days, some of you disagree with me, but that is of no importance, I have my own thoughts on the matter so we will call it a truce.

I had been turned down for Carers Allowance a few times but could not get my head around why I was being refused. I was being bombarded with figures given to me but no-one could answer a straightforward question. If State Pension is NOT taken into account when claiming Carers Allowance, why then do they refuse you on the grounds of it being called income.

I have now taken matters into my own hands to try and get a clear picture of what they are talking about and written to my local MP as I honestly think there is an error about this, i.e. saying that State Pension is NOT taken into account, but then stating it is classed as income.

Below is the email I sent :

............................................................................................................................................

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.e. state pension.

Carer’s Allowance is taxable but, because it is a low amount, on it's own it is below the threshold for paying tax. So you will only have to pay tax if you have other sources of taxable income such as an occupational pension or earnings.

................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

These are my answers to the above questions.

.

1, My husband gets a qualifying benefit i.e. Attendance Allowance.

2. I look after my husband 168 hours per week

3. I am 70 years old.

4. I am not in full time education, I am retired.

5. I do not earn anything, I do not have a job.

6. I satisfy UK presence and residence conditions.

What I cannot understand is why I am being refused Carers Allowance. As I stated, I care for my husband 24/7, I am 70 years of age and do not have any earnings from a job or anything else, the only thing I have each week is my state pension of £117, which according to the above article is NOT taken into account.

I have spoken to people at Age UK and they cannot understand it either, they say it is contradictory as the Government are saying you can claim for Carers Allowance as your State Pension is not taken into account neither are your savings, but then say your State Pension is an income so you cannot claim Carers Allowance if you earn over £100.

So Ms. Reeves, I need your help in determining what is what. There are many of us carers out there with the same problem, getting a state pension and being told it is income when in fact it is stated in Black and White it should not be taken into account.

Please help me.

I thought I would post this and let you know what I was doing. I will keep you informed of any outcome. I just need to know if State Pension is not taken into account or is. It is as simple as that.

If there has been a mistake made then thousands of carers will get Carers allowance and should have their claim backdated to their original claim. Knowing the Government, they will wiggle out of it somehow.

22 Replies

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  • Sweetthing, I found this if it is of any help, at the bottom, I have put the link from the NHS page I cut it from

    Kat

    xxx

    Carer’s Allowance is an 'earnings replacement benefit'. You can’t normally get more than one earnings replacement benefit at the same time, as they are said to 'overlap'.

    Some earnings replacement benefits are based on National Insurance (NI) contributions. These are:

    State Pension

    contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance

    Incapacity Benefit

    Employment and Support Allowance

    Maternity Allowance

    Widow’s or Bereavement Pension

    Widowed Mother’s or Widowed Parent’s Allowance

    nhs.uk/CarersDirect/moneyan...

  • On the Carers Allowance ability to claim for I have shown above it states national Insurance contributions, i.e. state pensions are not taken into account when claiming for Carers Allowance.

  • My personal take on this is as follows

    they call both carers allowance and state pension as 'earnings replacement benefit'

    your state pension replaces what you could theoretically earn if you go out to work because you have reached a certain age

    carers allowance is given because you can not go out to work because you are caring for someone

    hence they are not going to pay you earnings replacement twice

    That is my personal understanding of it be that right or wrong

    Kat

    xxx

  • That is what has been explaned to mean and I fully understand it.

  • hi

    follow the link

    welfarerights.net/benefits-...

    8 paragraph down

    it appears you can not claim, because of pension.

  • Hi

    I don't know if this is going to make things any clearer but here goes...

    Carers Allowance cannot be paid while you are receiving the same amount or more from:

    State pension

    Maternity Allowance

    Contributory ESA

    Incapacity Benefit

    Contribution based JSA

    Widow's benefits and bereavement benefit

    This is know as the "overlapping benefits rule".

    If you get less than the basic rate of carers allowance from one of the above benefits, then that benefit is topped up with Carers Allowance to the amount you would get from Carers Allowance alone.

    If you begin receiving a state pension that is more than Carers Allowance (not including age or earnings related additions), payment of Carers Allowance will stop due to the overlapping benefit rules. If your state pension is less than Carers Allowance, state pension is paid and topped up with Carers Allowance to the basic weekly rate of Carers Allowance. If all that prevents payment of Carers Allowance is your state pension, a carers addition (£32.60) is included in the calculation of your pension credit, and a carer premium (£32.60) is included in the calculation of housing benefit and council tax benefit.

    Hope that helps

    Mark

  • Thank you for this but it definitely states on the ability to claim forms for Carers Allowance that State Pensions, i.e. National Insurance contributions are NOT taken into account when claiming for this benefit. This is the reason I want to clarify matters, are National Insurance contributions i.e. state pensions, NOT taken into account or are they. The list you show above states State Pension, so why is it mentioned in the list when it is NOT supposed to be taken into account. I am completely baffled by this,

  • "If all that prevents payment of Carers Allowance is your state pension, a carers addition (£32.60) is included in the calculation of your pension credit, "

    I'm in the same situation as Sweetthing this May, when I begin my state pension. I asked for a forecast a few months ago and it made no mention of a carer's addition, only the basic and SERP (???... the earnings related part). I am definitely going to call the DWP for clarification. Thanks Mark.

  • Hi Sweetthing, I did leave a reply on your earlier blog only a short time ago, that your State Pension is classed as income in regard to tax and is taken into account when claiming other benefits. Libby

  • I agree with you Libby

  • Thank you for your comments everyone, but this does still not clarify the matter. Why, on the eligibility to claim Carers allowance does it state that National Insurance Contributions i.e. State pensions, are NOT taken into account when claiming for Carers allowance.

    We are being told that savings and state pensions are not included when claiming for this benefit but it appears it is being included, so I want to know why. Why state something is NOT included when claiming for a benefit when in fact it is. That is all I want to know, if the state pension is included when you are applying for this benefit, this form needs to be amended to read this and not state it is NOT included.

    I refuse to take this on face value, if something is NOT included then it should NOT be included.

    Until this is explained to me why it is stating this I will not let it go.

  • They wont pay benefits that are in lieu of working twice sweething because both of them are state benefits

  • That's not correct Kat. You can work and still claim Carer's Allowance, the only proviso is that there is an earnings cap from work of apx. £100 per week. The cap itself is nonsense, since how much you are paid is irrelevant. Only hours spent working and not caring in reality are relevant, the amount of money earned is not.

    Also, you can collect state pension and work ... no one that reaches pension age and decides to continue working loses out on state pension. The only difference for them is they don't continue to accrue pension credit and they don't have NI deducted from their pay packet. Hence, classifying CA as an "earnings replacement benefit" is another illogical twist put in place years ago to get out of paying CA. Sweetthing cannot stop being the carer for her husband nor can I stop being the carer for my husband because we've reached state pension age. That's no different from someone who continues to work in outside employment after stage pension age; only in their case it may be out of choice and in ours it is not.

    The rules behind Carer's Allowance are illogical and unfair, but they are what they are and they are not going to change.

  • yes you can

    but you cant not claim 2 BENEFITS that are in lieu of working

  • The things said no point in saying them again blf.healthunlocked.com/blog...

  • Thank you, so why does it state National Insurance contributions are not taken into account. (i.e. state pensions).

  • Some benefits are paid on need without having made NI contributions when some cases have not been in the fortunate position of making the contributions.

    Still discussing what is wanted not needed remove others mine is the worthy case that needs no other reason than want.

  • Sorry if you have already answered this one Sweetthing but I haven't caught up on all this thread yet!

    Have you obtained your info from this "DS700(SP) Notes 06/11" on the Government site "www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility" or some other site please?

    Thanks.

  • 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.

  • It is your own business what you spend your own money on the only time how much money is saved up becomes anything else is when asking to qualify for money put aside for those that have none. It caused upset for the caring members that understand what having to claim benefits, going cap in hand proving their need this has been educational for those involved knowing other views of welfare support.

  • 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.

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