Getting to grips with the financial aspects of being a carer!

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by DylanR, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. DylanR

    DylanR Registered User

    Aug 2, 2010
    #1 DylanR, Aug 2, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
    Sorry for having a rant but why don’t the local authorities sit you down and explain what you are entitled to?

    We have been caring for my mother for nearly 3 years and no one did this I’m slowly starting to get to grips with it but being I’ve left it so late we have lost out thousands. My wife and I have both worked full time for over 14 and 18 years respectively since graduating and haven’t claimed a bean from the state in that time so we are not up to speed with the benefits system

    My mother has been with us since she was released off section in January 2008 ( She had been with us part time since Sept 2007 having problems but I class January 2008 as our official caring starting point).

    It was only in September 2009 I accidentally heard about Disability living Allowance which she now gets but it can’t be back dated to January 2008 only to when you make the initial claim. Which is wrong this isn’t when she became Ill its only when I happend to find out about it. Left to her in her state she would never had had it! Immediately she was awarded the higher rate of both mobility and care so i would assume she would have been eligible at some rate much sooner.

    Only in March 2010 I realised given her house is empty and we care for her, her house is council tax exempt luckily this was backdated to January 2008.

    At the same time I found out as carers we can get up to 50% rebate given we care for her 25% and 25% because we care for her and she is severely mentally impaired. But this can only be back dated to the time she claimed DLA. We now get the 50% off but we have technically been paying 50% to much council tax for nearly two years!

    I’ve also had a rebate on her water bill given her house is empty.

    But nobody tells you this it lies in small print on the back of bills!! But I guess advertising it too widely is not in their interest!

    Council services should sit you down when you are looking after someone and tell you all this.

    Sorry rant over :)
  2. mowood

    mowood Registered User

    Dec 27, 2009
    West Yorkshire
    Rant on Dylan, I know just what you mean.

    My mum has been totally blind for the past 13 years and we found out earlier this year, quite by chance, that she was entitled to income-tax relief at a higher rate because of this - but,she could only have her claim backdated for 6 years. I can't understand why the specialist social worker for the blind didn't tell us about this additional tax-relief when he came out to visit us many years ago.

    Also, you can claim vat exemption on equipment and some other items that are necessary for people who are disabled or chronically ill. I claim vat exemption on incontinence products and slippers for my mum.

    As well as the discounts you've mentioned, we've also managed to get our council tax banding lowered because we have one room adapted solely for mum's needs.

    Any more money-saving tips will be gratefully received.:D
  3. geum123

    geum123 Registered User

    May 20, 2009
    Hello Dylan,
    I'll have a bit of a rant along with you if that's ok.
    When my Dad went into a nursing home we eventually emptied his house prior to putting it up for sale.

    I notified the council to tell them it was empty.
    They said someone would have to come around to check.

    I drove all the way up to North Wales while this council representative checked the house and then informed me that
    we would be charged at a reduced rate for six months despite me telling her he was in a nursing home.

    Only later did I realise he didn't have to pay at all.

    Attendance Allowance?
    No reduction was made to his council tax.

    It makes me so mad that they then have the gall to say many are not claiming what they are entitled to.

    I am in my late fifties, and fortunately I have access to the internet. Without it I would have remained in ignorance.
    How on earth are people who are elderly supposed to know these things.

    Many are too tired of caring for partners or parents to afford expending any energy in these areas.
    Absolutely everything seems to be hard work, from getting help from social workers to respite, to finding homes, even trying to find out how much a home charges, and I won't even mention NHS Continuing Care.

    If you manage to steer your way around all of that there is then quality of care received in this country.
    It is so soul destroying.

    That's me done for the day!

    How's Llandeilo?

  4. Clive

    Clive Registered User

    Nov 7, 2004
    You are so right.

    All the information I received from Social Services was that mum had savings so she would have to pay something towards most things. The rest I found out for myself.


    PS. She could have had a banister rail fitted or a ramp up to the front door or a handrail for the bath... but nothing to help with AD
  5. DylanR

    DylanR Registered User

    Aug 2, 2010
    As I suspected I'm not alone here the information is just not clearly available, unless you dig for it.

    I have to say the councils in west wales and water company were very good once I approached them I just wished i had known much sooner.

    To be honest I blame the NHS, it took them 18 months (after i had kicked a few doors in) to give us a diagnosis so we were in limbo thinking what the *** is happening to my mother its only when we got the diagnosis officially last summer I started to dig about elegability for rebates and benefits. She was sectioned in Dec 2007 suffering from psychotic delusions and came to live with us following her discharge in Jan 08. When I asked the consultants about a diagnosis they just shrugged their shoulders and said we basically havent got a clue. They packed her off to us drugged up on antipsychotics and shes been with us since. I begged and pleaded with them for the next 12 months whats causing her problems and they just said lets see if the drugs help first one step at a time...................................
  6. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    Same experience here. I sorted out attendance allowance and carer allowance myself.

    They only got mentioned in passing by an occupational therapist who happened to call. She was rather surprised to hear I'd already organised it.

    You can ask for a visit from a local authority Benefits Officer who will then help you to sort out what you're entitled to and assist with filling in all the forms.

    But you have to know that such a person exists in order to request their help.

    I thought I knew the benefits system reasonably well and I hadn't heard of such a thing until recently.
  7. Goingitalone

    Goingitalone Registered User

    Feb 11, 2010
    I have been thinking for some time that there should be a 'one stop shop' for all these things.

    There are so many charities who deal with part of the benefits available.

    Why don't they all mass together, get their act together and pool resources so that we get a fully informed, one place to go for all this info?

    It makes my blood boil that there is so much money wasted in admin etc when all this could be sorted if only the charities, govt depts etc got their act together to help us lonely carers.

    Rant over, but not out!!!!!!

    I'm livid!!!! :mad::mad::mad:
  8. elaine n

    elaine n Registered User

    Jun 1, 2010
    west country uk
    Our dementia support worker told us to contact our local FAB team for Adults/Older people and someone came to see us to help us check what we were entitled to (DWP) She was brilliant and I applied for AL then CA then a reduction in our council tax and got the lot. xxxelaine
  9. DylanR

    DylanR Registered User

    Aug 2, 2010
    An all encompassing leaflet explianing the different benefits, rebates and exemptions would be a great idea but it needs to be handed out at the right place and time, by NHS etc. Ideally there needs to be a support worker assigned to giving this advice.

    Havent the Alzheimers Society thought about this, maybe a moderator could comment?
  10. elaine n

    elaine n Registered User

    Jun 1, 2010
    west country uk
    Sorry Dylan i got the title wrong. It was a dementia adviser who came to see us from the Alzheimers society. If you look on the alzheimers website you should be able to find out how to access one xxxxelaine
  11. graybags

    graybags Registered User

    Jun 16, 2010
    I found that the local Alzheimers Society office was very switched on about allowances etc, but was advised about Attendance Allowance by my parents CPN. Just a shame that the first dated claim form was torn up and "re-cycled" by my Mum so when the claim was accepted it wasn't back dated to the correct, I argued that it should be but the DWP said no. I guess I could argue, but frankly can do without further hassle. I also managed to get a 100% reduction on council tax due to both of my parents being in receipt of AA.

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