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Which hours count for Carer's Allowance


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I should receive Pension Savings Credit shortly, when I turn 65. When I was on the phone applying for this I mentioned that I was my mother's carer. The lovely lady was very keen that I apply for Carer's Allowance, even working out how much additional Pension Savings Credit I would get.

 

 

On one website it said you could include hours you are available. As I am her only carer I am available 24/7 but I am sure it is not as simple as that. I do all the normal things, cleaning, shopping, assisting with showering, medication, etc., while obviously trying to ensure she is as independent as possible. I also do things at my home which are to do with her needs. She is 93, has limited mobility and Alzheimer's but still at a stage where she can make (heat) her meals, etc. Mum receives AA at the lower level as she does not currently need overnight care. I have POA for her which means I spend some time keeping an eye on her bank account, bills, etc., and making sure she has enough cash.

 

 

I have no idea if this would come to 35 hours or what I should include in the calculation and am ready just to give up but the money would help me to help Mum.

 

 

I would be grateful if anyone could add clarity to this for me.

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35 hours per week works out at five hours each day - Simply add up how much time you spend with your mother, not just the hours you are actively assisting her. Add on the time taken doing shopping, banking, preparing meals, and also travel time. If you take her out anywhere, include this in your calculations.

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As mentioned above,

the carer and the cared for have to confirm that at least 35 hours a week are treated as 'cared for hours'.

 

There are no checks made by the DWP other than you may at some point in time have to explain what you do in those hours.

 

However the definition of what constitutes cared for hours does not exist other than to say that for those hours you cared.

 

 

As an example, you may live 2 hours drive away from the cared for person and you visit twice a week.

Those 8 hours of travelling will count.

 

 

If you deal with the cared for person's financial affairs, do their washing etc in your own home, those hours are counted.

Even time spent with the cared for person providing support and encouragement are caring hours.

 

 

In other words if you believe that there are hours in each week that you carry out some form or type of caring for the benefit of the cared for person,

then you count them.

 

 

Over a week that would be at least 5 hours a day on average.

 

You may stay with the cared for person for 24 hours and go back the following day,

then those 24 hours are counted as well as are the hours taken to get there and back.

 

A case that I am aware of is where the carer lives 200 miles away and stays from 12noon on the Saturday

(the time that they arrive) to 2pm on the Sunday (the time when they set off to return) with the cared for person every weekend.

 

 

In that case the travelling time of 5 hours each way added to the 26 hours

that they spend with the cared for person adds up to 36 hours each week!

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I feel better just reading "However the definition of what constitutes cared for hours does not exist" as I couldn't find one and thought I was missing something :smile:

 

 

Your very clear description will help; thank you. I just need to sit down and work it all out!

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If your mother lives alone, then please check her benefits to be sure she doesn't currently receive a severe disability premium, as this would be lost if you claim carer's allowance and receive a payment of carer's allowance.

 

However, if you get or will be getting state pension of above the level of carer's allowance then it won't matter as you will just get underlying entitlement to carer's allowance (no payment) and a carer's premium on top of your pension credit, which won't impact any money your mother gets.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you Estellyn. I try to keep on top of these things but severe disability premium was something I had never heard of.

 

 

Luckily when mum had a fall three or four years ago (perhaps luckily is wrong word as she broke bones in her pelvis :sad:)

a lady came to help me fill in the forms to tell them how much mum should pay for her care at that time.

She sorted this out for me and mum has been getting it since then.

 

Can I just clarify.

I had always understood that I could claim Carers Allowance (hours allowing) but would not receive it as I get another benefit, i.e., State Pension.

 

 

I also understood that if I had not been getting a state pension and did receive it Mum would loose her SDP.

Are you saying that if I was getting carers premium mum would not loose her SDP?

 

I really don't think I am spending 35 hours on her care at the moment but with Alzheimer's in the picture things

may change and the extra bit would then be very helpful.

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Yes,

 

 

what happens is if you receive state pension (above the carer's allowance amount),

 

 

you apply for carer's allowance and

 

 

you'll be sent a letter stating that you have been awarded what's called an 'underlying entitlement' to carer's allowance

- you don't get the cash, but they acknowledge that if it weren't for state pension you would.

 

 

You then inform the pension credit section that you have underlying entitlement

and they pay a carer's premium on top of your pension credit,

an amount of just over £30 a week from the beginning of your 'underlying entitlement' to carer's allowance.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I really don't think I am spending 35 hours on her care at the moment but with Alzheimer's in the picture things may change and the extra bit would then be very helpful.

 

You have my sympathies wrt your mother's condition - My mother was diagnosed with a rare variant of Alzheimer's early last year, there is no cure and it is an emotional and heartbreaking journey. Make the most of any time you can spend together.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

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