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SUNDERLAND1

Earned over the carers allowance threshold

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Hi, i am not sure if this has been discussed before, i have a feeling it probably has.

 

My partner has claimed carers allowance for looking after her uncle for the last 3 years.

She has also quite often worked part time.

She has always told me she was allowed to work 15 hours per week and she has always stuck to this limit.

 

However

i have looked into it and found that the limit is how much you earn not how many hours you work.

Her jobs have always been minimum wage so they have actually kept her just under the earnings limit.

 

This is where i think this subject may have been discussed before,

obviously in april 2019 the increase in NMW and the carers earnings limit increase resulted in someone working 15 hours at NMW being 15p over the limit.

 

My partner had no idea she was earning too much until a letter arrived a few weeks ago from the carers people.

They suspended her claim and she had to fill a form in detailing her working hours and earnings etc over a certain period.

My partner sought advice from the CAB who said this would be overlooked as it was such a small amount (15p).

 

She received a letter on saturday saying she was not entitled to carers from april 2019 until sep 2019, (she stopped working in september and is not currently working).

The letter does not say what they intend to do as she has already received her payments for this period.

I have a feeling another letter may be on its way telling her to pay it back ?

 

Surely this can not be right ?

 

Another point to mention is that my partner had £2 per week taken from her wages for her uniform,

i put this down as an allowable expense but they have completely ignored this and not even mentioned it in the letter they sent out on saturday.

 

As far as i was aware work uniform or equipment should be classed as an allowable expense, this in effect would take her below the carers earnings limit.

 

Has anyone had a similar experience or can offer any advice ?

I seriously cant believe they are doing this over 15p per week.

 

Thanks in advance Steve.

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The onus is on the claimant to claim correctly. 15p or £2 over the limit is still over the limit.

 

You mention an alowable expense, where does it state uniform is allowable, it's normally travel, care fee's or pension contributions. Normally uniform is provided by the employer, so the DWP tend to ignore this.

 

Yes she will get a letter regarding paying it back, but she is lucky she isn't facing a fraud case.

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CAB should never have said what they did.

 

If someone earns over the threshold, even if only 15p, yes in theory the whole amount will be reported as overpaid. 

 

So yes you should expect a letter advising of a debt.

 

Suggest that your partner follows the appeal process and submits the mandatory reconsideration.  Put the arguments to a DWP Decision Maker. It might not change the decision already made, but worth giving it a go. Perhaps the CAB advisor who gave their opinion can assist.

 

Uniform is not an expenses that can be deducted in relation to earnings considered for benefit purposes. Your partner is employed and the employers should provide any uniform. Sounds a bit odd to deduct an amount for uniform and this should be queried with the employers. Not quite sure on the legality of the deduction.


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