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Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by Reds, Jan 24, 2015.
How does any carer cope living with just a carer's allowance?
I know, its very difficult. At least you can apply for income support too, but its still quite a challenge.
I lived for years like that after my husband was disabled (not dementia) when the children were small. I got very good at living on a very small amount so that when my daughter was 12 it came as a shock to her to discover that we were actually poor!
The trouble with living with dementia on a limited budget, though, is that you tend to be both cash poor and time poor.
It's very important that you get advice on which benefits you can get and claiming everything that you and hubby are entitled to.
At the moment, couples with a low household income can apply for Universal Credit or, if your partner qualifies, they can apply for pension credit, the severe disability premium of Attendance Allowance would be withdrawn as CA is being claimed.
No one can live on Carers Allowance alone, it is £61.35 per week. Other benefits make up the shortfall but they are means tested.
Partners income is taken into account, other adults living in the house can also affect the calculations.
I only receive carers allowance but my partner works full-time.
When I was a single parent I received income support and extra benefits as I claimed for dependants (my two sons) through my entitlement to Carers Allowance.
Ask your local council to give you a benefits check to make sure you are claiming all that you are entitled to claim.
the old saying comes in to play,don't live beyond your means,watch what you buy and look out for bargains you'll be surprised especially if your get income support as a carer and help with the mortgage interest,the wife on dla but also gets esa which helps,we're never going to be able to have a car on motability because we use that to live but at least the van is paid for and the road tax is free,i think you can be rich in other things other than money,you have to make the most of the situation you are in plus there's christmas and birthdays for things you need.
The thing that shocked me was when you get to the point of receiving state pension you lose your carers allowance even though you continue to be a carer.
Presumably because the argument is that carer's allowance compensates for not earning a wage which you wouldn't be doing if you retired. Not saying I agree, but I think that's the logic.
Personally I think carer's allowance should be seen as a wage and therefore raised to at least minimum wage level for a 40 hour week. Then you could like anyone else continue to earn your wage while receiving a state pension.
Imagine two families with family carers. If the carers 'swopped' families they could each be 'employed' by the other family so why not allow this within a family. I bet it would be a lot less expensive to the social care budget than paying agency carers or care home fees.
I am sure you are right but when you retire from work then you are not expected to continue to do the job for nothing whereas when you get state pension your caring responsibilities continue in exactly the same manner as before.
I am not saying I want to stop being my husband's 24/7 carer but I had thought of deferring claiming my state pension and continuing on just the carers allowance for a couple more years but this is not allowed.
I think people who give up work to care for a loved one actually save the state a lot of money and the amount of the carers allowance is very small but in these times of austerity I cannot see much hope of an increase.
A strange ruling is that the government won't pay CA if they pay you a pension but they will if the pension is private or occupational.
Thanks as always for the replies.
Conversely, my ex-husband (I am still his great friend so state this without malice), is 67, works still full-time in a quite gruelling, physical job yet has received since he turned 65, full state pension and winter fuel allowance.
In fact he isn't my ex...neither one of us have wanted to proceed with a divorce but both have partners of 16 years standing.