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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Carers' allowance

    Does anyone know whether it's possible to apply for carers' allowance if you live a long way away from the person needing care? Dad looks after mum (he can't get CA because of his pension. I've applied for attendance allowance for mum, still waiting to hear) and I go up there as often as possible (it's 5 hours away so I go for several days at a time, maybe once a month or so). Does the 35 hours/week requirement have to be *every* week, or could it be averaged out over a month? I'm unemployed at the moment, getting hassle from jobcentre because I can't find a job (in part because I need something flexible so I can help mum and dad - I'm also a single parent), and I thought maybe I could get CA instead of jobseekers allowance. Does anyone know whether this might be possible?

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    You don't have to live with or even near the person - you just have to fulfill the 35 hours per week rule. "Care" has a very broad definition, and can even include things like being available on the phone if you're needed.

    However, the 35 hour rule means that you have to do a minimum of 35 hours every week - you can't do less in some and make up for that by doing more in others. But the 35 hours can be made up in any way during any one week. There are exceptions, for example, carers can continue to receive CA when there are "temporary breaks" (for example, the person they are caring for might go into respite, or they themselves take a holiday) - but you still have to inform the DWP of "changes in circumstances"

    If you're in doubt then call the Benefit Enquiry line. I suspect that the definition of "care" covers more than you think and that you may well meet the 35 hours anyway.

    Do be aware that CA might well be lower than JSA, depending on circumstances - CA is (astonishingly) just about the lowest "income replacement" benefit there is.
    Last edited by Nebiroth; 16-04-2012 at 01:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    You can't average over weeks.
    Weeks are always Saturday to Sunday.
    You have to care for at least 35 hours in at least 22 out of the last 26 weeks.
    Time travelling to them to provide care does not count.
    If you brought your mum to stay with you the time she was with you would count as would the time collecting her and taking her home. Additionally time spent preparing for her visit and tidying up after would count.
    Your mum will need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit, Attendance Allowance would count.


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