Carer's allowance vs PIP: Hello and happy... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

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Carer's allowance vs PIP


Hello and happy Easter to you all.

With spondylolisthesis, sciatica and fibromyalgia I am currently off sick from my job where I am a part time primary school teaching assistant. I have been caring for my disabled Mum for 5 years, claiming some carer's allowance.

I'm unable to care for myself now, let alone my mother, so I'm going to have to apply for PIP.

If I get PIP, it could take months and I now have to stop the carer's allowance. I don't know how long I will be on paid sick leave. There is going to be a large gap without any income and I don't know what to do. I know PIP will be back-paid to the date I first apply but I'm not sure that will wash with my bank! Can anyone advise please?

ps I can't sell my body as it's not very pretty and it's a bit broken.

pps I'm cutting it fine for finding a rich man who wants a 44 year old cripple with an unhealthy desire for collecting cats.

15 Replies

Hi Fedup. The first thing you need to do is relax. Stressing out over your finances may serve as a distraction from your condition but more often than nought will intensify your pain.

Deal with your financial worries logically and calmly. Firstly your PIP claim. Yes, it will take several months but probably a maximum of 3 months. And then it will be backdated. So I would reckon you only have to see through a maximum of 3, or at the worst, 4 months.

Secondly, I was not aware that claiming PIP precluded you from caring for your Mum. In reality you will still attend to basic care which is feasible given your condition. So check on this before rashly cancelling your claim. On that subject does your Mum receive Attendance Allowance? If not she should.

Thirdly, contact the School Office and find out what the Sickness Policy is. In most employment cases it is several months on full pay and several on half pay. If you don't want to contact the School Office dig out your Contract of Employment. Although you are employed by a school the County Council usually manages the payroll so you could phone the Human Resources Department at your County Council for more advice.

Fourth and finally, realising you are going to be strapped for cash in advance is an advantage. It will buy you time to make arrangements to manage your finances. For example, phone your bank and arrange a short term overdraft, making them fully aware of your predicament. Phone the Building Society and arrange a payment holiday on the mortgage. Credit Cards? List them and phone each company and explain. They will willingly allow you time to pay off balances and may halt the interest. Phone your Local Council if it's rent you pay and cover the rates whilst you're on the phone.

If at any point you talk to an individual who isn't understanding hang up and redial. Chances are that the next person you speak to will be more sympathetic.

Google hardship grants providing your local postcode. There are a lot of charities sitting on money which they will be willing to consider granting you subject to you meeting their conditions. Rarely do you have to repay the money. Even your local authority may be able to put you in touch with a suitable charity.

Hope some of the above helps. I am a Chartered Accountant and have provided financial advice to clients in a similar position to yours many times over the years. Your situation is manageable so go and manage it! Good luck but you won't need it. Just ensure that you list the main monthly bills which might worry you about payment and phone them.

Fedupandfearul in reply to Hidden

Thank you very much for your clear advice gtmcghie.

Is your Mum in receipt of higher rate care under DLA? If she is hang n to it as no one trying to make a new claim for AA will get it anymore.

Just as important...never assume you will get PIP. Criteria now is a stinker and so many people who used to get DLA are either getting lower rate of PIP or worse...losing it altogether.

If you are unable to claim any sick pay for your job and unlikely to return you can put in a claim for ESA.. Again that is a stinker but always worth trying.

My advice would e to speak with someone from CAB. They will point you in right direction. They also have financial advisors.


You need to be careful as pip is very difficult to get at all , it's far from being easy , just thought I would let you know lots of friends I know really need PIP and can't get it good luck

Hi Dalrymple

This is my second attempt at a pip claim, I found the first time really soul destroying and this time I am in a much needier state. Thank you for your advice.


Hi if your sick pay stops or you lose your job put in an immediate claim for ESA. Look under and it will give the numbers to claim it on. Then you would need a sick/fit note from your doctor and send it in within a week. You would need to have these to continue with an ESA claim, at least until you have had an assessment.

You can claim PIP immediately as it is a different and stand alone benefit from ESA, but make sure you get help in filling out the form from either the CAB or a local disability rights group as wording is crucial.

I don't know if you live on your own or have a partner or rent etc.but you might be able to claim housing benefit and/or a council tax rebate so look into this. If you are being paid your full pay then you wouldn't get it but if it goes down to half pay or statutory sick pay then apply straightaway.

I hope this helps a bit.

Ps your comments made me laugh so always keep your sense of humour :)

Fedupandfearul in reply to Hidden

Thank you. I write a blog and write try to keep that as positive as possible. It is at if you would like more laughs! 😊

well hopefully you can firstly get your health on a more even keep,sorry to hear about all the worrying events that your having to face,not only about yourself but your mum as well,so you'll have the minefield of the DWP to face,and ultimately your fighting against a government who pays atos/Maximus £700 million to reduce payments to the old,infirm,or generally ill population,so you need to get your local welfare unit to assign a key worker to your case and start getting medical notes and your prescriptions together,and maybe have an informal chat with your GP,you need to be protected from a system that's meant to "help" people who are struggling on a day to day basis with health conditions especially if your aware that things are getting impossible for you to do,alot of things might take some time,and yet you'll find if you can get the ground work done before you start this process,there's a fair chance this won't cause any confusion further down the line,I'm sorry I'm not a multi millionaire,but I do like cats,and you've got a little cheeky side to you,so don't lose you sense of humour,and may you have a result that helps you in the future 😊

Thank you Cb1963, I like the idea of having a "cheeky side" it makes me sound younger. Thank you for your advice. I have applied for pip before (and to think I believed I was struggling then, ha!) but I'm worse off now. I do manage, I had to be sent home from work because I wouldn't give up, but now is the time to be honest with everyone.

To keep me smiling I do keep a blog which I try to keep positive whilst still telling readers how life is for me. It can be found at if you don't mind me partaking in some shameless advertising.

Thank you again for your help 😊

As others have said, you can care for someone while being on PIP yourself so you will not necessarily lose carers allowance just because you have applied for PIP. And go for ESA too if you can't work anymore.

If you are the type to fill in your own forms, it would be worth joining Benefits and Work as they produce the guides that people like the CAB use. Otherwise, get in contact with either your local Carers organisation or the CAB to help support you with these forms.

As for finding a rich cat lover, I have always thought that GPs could make really good match makers. They know their patients well, they could easily match us poor old women with some nice widower! ;-)

Good luck!

Thank you Cyberbarn. I have a good friend who has filled out pip applications for people many times so I will have help there.

Thank you for your help.

I'm in a similar boat I lost my job after claiming sick for 20 weeks due to knee injury which was coursed by fibro, it all started around 12 months ago, I only got the fibro diagnosis in October. I've been turned down for pip and I'm waiting to see what they say to the appeal I'll be loaded if they say yes from October when I first applied. I'm currently only getting ESA that's 146 a fortnight... I'd recommend opening up your house as a cat zoo, breading flees and opening up a flee circus. Good luck and feel better soon

You can still claim CA whilst going for PIP as it is a non means tested benefit. Same for sick pay from an employer in relation to PIP. I work in civil service.

You can only claim CA if t the person you care for is in receipt of DLA or PIP.


Yes indeed

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