Benefit issue - owning own house and benefits

chakras

Registered User
Jan 24, 2012
16
I need a wee bit of advice.

I went down from full time hours to part time hours and now need to look at becoming a full time carer to my mother who has vascular dementia.

I moved in permamently with her two years ago and rented the house out, The rental income I get covers the mortgage, insurance and gas contract, and that is it,

My mum gets attendance allowance.

I keep running into obstacles to try and get to the bottom of what i would be entitled to. Jobcentreplus are unsure as to really what happens when someone has a house they rent out, They mention IS and contribution ESA but i cannot take the plunge without knowing for sure. I am not sure where to turn to fin out.

Any help really appreciated
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
London
worth a visit to your local Citizens Advice Bureau who will know what you are entitled to
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,511
The main problem will be the means tests. A lot of benefits are means tested not only on savings but also income. Assets are referred to as capital and often include things like propertty although a home you liv ein is ignored.

As far as I'm aware:

ESA largely replaces IS except for a limited group of people. ESA covers almost everyone "available to work" even though it includes a group of people who are exempted from actually doing so because they are too ill or disabled. There are two sorts of ESA - contributory, which is not means tested and only paid for a limited time and is based on your National Insurance record, and non-contributory which is referred to as income-related, this is means tested on income and capital although it's name implies that it is only on income (!). If your a carer claiming ESA you still have to do all the tests and work-related stuff although I believe carers can ask to have them delayed.

IS is for people who "do not have to be available for work". This group is small, but it does include carers, so long as they are getting Carer Allowance.

The primary benefit you would be looking at would be Carers Allowance. The main criterium for getting this is proving 35 hours per week or more for someone classed as "severely disabled". To be so classed they must be getting DLA middle or higher rate or AA of either rate (there are a couple of other obscure disability benefits that very few get which also qualify). CA is not means tested on capital so savings and other assets do not matter, it is on income but only that from employment (so that means, a salary from an employer, or earnings from self-employment). Other income should be ignored. The 35 hours covers almost anything including simply being present or available on the phone so it is easy to satisfy (when I asked what was included, the benefit adviser said "everything you do for them")

It sounds as though you would need to apply for Carer Allowance, I see no reason why you would not get that. Then you would need to look at Income Support but I suspect that your capital and other income will end up falling foul of the means tests.

CA is £59.75 per week and it is taxable income so keep this in mind.

Benefits are extremely complicated, often overlap and your receiving say CA might affect the benefits of the person you look after (but certainly NOT AA or their pension)

It wouldprobably be best to go to either Citizens Advice or ask to see a Benefits Officer - they're attached to local authorities and deal with nothing but benefits. Don;t expect a Jobcentre member of staff to know about all this, they probably won't as they are there mainly to deal with unemployed people seeking work (or 'in the available for work' group anyway)