Carer’s Allowance: Mum feels DWP rule ‘penalises’ her for working | Personal Finance | Finance

In the UK, people who provide unpaid care for someone else can claim a benefit called Carers Allowance to support them financially while they are taking care. The benefit currently pays £69.70 per week giving carers £279 per month and just over £3,000 a year. However, Carers Allowance has very strict criteria and people can only claim if they provide 35 hours of caring work a week and do not earn more than £132 after tax, National Insurance and expenses. The Autumn Budget announced that this level would rise by £7 to £139.

This particular rule has caused many unpaid carers to be hit harder by the current cost of living crisis as they risk losing their carer’s benefit if they find another job to supplement their monthly income.

Yasmin Hersey, 34, from Southampton, has previously dealt with the consequences of exceeding the earnings limit and believes the increase announced in the Autumn Budget is simply “not enough”.

Yasmin has four children, two of whom have autism and require full-time care when they are not in school.

Yasmin previously had a job working 16 hours a week for the Autism in Schools program however, she earned more than the limit which caused her to lose her carer’s payment.

She told “When you have children and you’re a carer, you’re quite isolated from society because there’s always so much going on and it’s hard to commit to anything that’s not caring. , so social gatherings and stuff like that aren’t really an option for you.

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“So I wanted to work, I needed to keep my mind ticking and I feel active and I like to do something that I enjoy every day and it’s good to feel that you’re adding value to the wider society.”

“So I wanted to work, I needed to keep my mind ticking and I feel active and I like to do something that I enjoy every day and it’s good to feel that you’re adding value to the wider society.”

Yasmin explained that losing her payments forced her to quit her job because it was actually “better” not to work during that time because of her financial stress.

“It’s because we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place because you know you have to provide for your child and you want to do that but we’re not getting enough to live and support our children.

“I’ve been dealt these cards in life and I’m trying to manage them the best I can and since I can’t leave this life, even if I had the option I wouldn’t, I think a little more consideration should be given. And need a little more support. We are given to caregivers.

Yasmin stressed how she was still only young and had many years of work ahead of her and would be “very happy” to do so if the government would allow her.

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She said: “Working doesn’t just bring money, it brings a lot of benefits to your life and I would ideally like to work 20 to 24 hours a week, only during the day from Monday to Friday so that I can meet all my other needs.

“For me, this will help me better fulfill my caregiving responsibilities because I’ve been socializing with other people and I’ve had time that’s just me where I can be me and not just a carer, I have to think about the doctors. No need. appointments and stuff.”

Yasmin says that having time to “switch off” and “recharge” is important for all caregivers and that everyone has different ways of doing that and being allowed to work for it.

Contact, a charity that helps families with disabled children, has called on the government to lift the cap for several years.

The charity said it was also “deeply disappointed” about the increase in working allowance announced in the Autumn Budget.

The charity also said the rules act as a “disincentive to work” and “keep carers out of the job market when there is a serious shortage of workers”.

Head of Campaigns in Contact, Una Summerson, said: “This ridiculously low limit will force more parent carers to reduce their working hours or quit their jobs so they don’t lose their Carers Allowance.

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“Parents tell us they want to work more while still providing the 35 hours of care required to qualify for Carer’s Allowance. With so many doing so much, our research found that a quarter of parents spend an incredible 100 hours caring each week.

“Together with Parent Carers and other disability and carers charities we have been calling for the Carers Allowance earnings limit to be raised to £200 a week, to allow more carers to work and use their skills and experience.

“Despite the latest setback, we will continue to make the case to raise it significantly at the next available opportunity.”

A DWP spokesman said: “We recognize the valuable role of unpaid carers and remain committed to supporting them financially with their health, wellbeing and employment opportunities.

“Universal Credit includes a carer’s element worth more than £160 a month and since 2010 we have increased Carers’ Allowance, which puts an extra £700 a year in carers’ pockets. Those in receipt of Carers’ Allowance may be entitled to other support, including benefits. .

“The earnings cap in Carers Allowance, which has risen by almost a third since 2010, allows carers to undertake some part-time work, recognizing the benefits of being in touch with the workplace. The limit is not linked to any particular factor and is kept under review by the government.


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