In order to receive Carers Allowance, we have to be caring for at least 35 hours a week; additionally in order to be granted this allowance of £53.90 per week, the person we care for must be in receipt of Attendance Allowance currently over £70.00 at the higher rate.
May I suggest that Attendance Allowance be automatically transferred to the Carer who by definition has already satisfied the DWP that they are in fact the Primary Carer in the household to top up the Carers Allowance, since Attendance Allowance is specifically to be used for the Care needs of the recipient.
Not only would this mean that the Carer receives recompense for what is generally recognised as an onerous task, one that impacts totally upon the life of the Carer, but also ensures that they can at least use some of the increased income to provide the Carer with some value, and dignity with the option to afford to take some Respite.
The current system of ‘Direct Payments’ which is supposed to allow the Carer & Caree to manage their own care needs themselves, specifically EXCLUDES Carers such as myself, because I gave up my job & own home to live with & look after my Father.
Further confirmed by my Social Worker. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to help a Carer financially when it comes to giving us a Break.
Why does this idea matter?
As you know, the current Carer’s Allowance is only £53.90 per week; it is also means-tested to quite an extreme, given the sum of the Allowance.
For this sum there are at least a Million full-time Carers such as me,Caring for well over 50 hours per week, who devote their entire lives and time to the Care of a Family member.
Caring for someone with Dementia is particularly hard for the Carer; in my case my Father is no longer the Dad I once knew, and he’s happy in his own world, safe in his own home.
But for me, as his Son & Carer, I’m isolated by the onerous duties I’m required to perform;the CA of £53.90 is barely enough to live on, never mind trying to save up for anything, such as a break from Caring.
I don’t want to shove Dad into a Care Home just so I can have some peace & quiet – it’s ME that could use the break “Away” from the House I live & work in 24/7. I would like the ability to keep Dad being cared for here at home, and allow me the option to have a break from caring from time to time, but this isn’t currently possible under current rules.
Re-allocation of the AA in this way wouldn’t increase the ‘spending’ – but it would go a long way to helping those Carers that have no opportunities to ‘have a life’ of their own, and ensure the AA is spent where it is intended, and not as presently, where once it’s given, the recipient can use that money for anything.
Surely this is worth due consideration.