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    A warm welcome to the new Carers section, which, in line with the ethos of All About Debt, aims to provide friendly, non-judgemental help and moral support to carers affected by debt. It is also a friendly social platform where you can meet others in similar circumstances, let off steam and share experiences, without fear of prejudice or censure.

    According to Turn2Us, there are around 6 million carers in the UK, many of whom do not receive the financial aid they are due to. In the year 2008/9 there was £19.1 billion in unclaimed benefits. Even for those who do claim, with Carers’ Allowance currently set at a derisory £55.55 per week, there is little wonder that those who selflessly give up their time to care for a relative or friend often find themselves in severe financial hardship.

    Amazingly, if you Google “debt help for carers”, all you usually get is a list of profit driven debt management companies (to be avoided like the plague!) and a few news articles about the subject.
    While there are several excellent websites dedicated to supporting carers, despite the unique problems there is nothing specifically aimed at helping them cope with and take control of their debts.

    All About Debt fills this void, by offering free, holistic – and realistic – peer to peer help from people in similar situations.
    Depending on your circumstances, there are many ways we can help in controlling or resolving your debt problems. While you may in some circumstances be advised to set up repayment plans, either self managed or via free services such as Payplan or CCCS, unlike most debt advice organisations, we don’t blindly take your creditors’ word that you owe what they say you owe! (And you don’t have to wait weeks for an appointment! )

    Very often debt balances will be inflated by unfair charges or missold PPI. The credit agreement may not be enforceable in court, or Statute Barred. You may have been a victim of irresponsible lending, been treated unfairly, harassed by debt collectors, misled as to their powers or even threatened with court action which they cannot legally take.

    You will get all the help you need on here to guide you through this minefield, whether you are in debt yourself or dealing with it for the person you care for.

    In addition to debt problems, please feel free to post about anything and everything related to caring, your trials and tribulations, tips and coping strategies.
    It’s quite normal to resent the person you are caring for at times, to feel trapped, tired, even angry at the loss of a “normal” life.
    They may be difficult to deal with, stretch your patience to the limit…. and then you experience a massive guilt trip for feeling cross with them. At the same time it’s hard to admit these stresses to others in your circle of friends and family, but you can work through these feelings and get sympathetic, understanding support anonymously here.

    Just getting it off your chest often works wonders!

    Shepherdess xx

    PS: Don’t forget to check out the Benefits and Disability sections, and familiarise yourself with the rest of the forum…we’re a friendly bunch!

    Carers - Useful Links and Resources
    Turn2Us is a charitable service which helps people access the money available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other help.
    DWP – info on Carers Allowance

    General Advice and support for Carers
    Carers UK
    Mind - advice for carers of those who suffer from mental disorders.
    NHS Choices - Carers Direct. A good source of information for carers on many aspects from debt to local services
    Last edited by Undercover Elsa; 9 July 2011, 13:24.

  • #2


    Excellent first post well done and thank you.

    Now if I may I would like to post my wife's experiences with the carers allowance and working part-time.

    We are now living within a Government that promotes work yet with Carers Allowance those hours you can work are limited due to only being allowed to earn a maximum of £100 before it is withdrawn.

    This cannot be right in today's Society because if you are a carer your maximum earnings per week are £155.55.

    Now can a carer live on that, carers do a wonderful job and more so saving the government millions every year if the caring is carried out at home.

    As in many cases there is a partnership at home of more than one adult and between them they can share those caring needs and both hold a job offering more than £100 a week.

    Indeed this carers allowance should be paid to that partnership and not a single person.

    The £100 a week cut off should also be higher to enable them to earn a decent wage taking the carers allowance into consideration.

    My wife is a carer to both me and our mum who lives with us we would not have that any other way she is our responsibility and we will carry on caring for her until she passes.

    We share that role in that my wife cares for her during the day and I do what I can at night while the wife is at work aswell as taking care of her transport needs.

    However it is a constant battle to ensure she does not exceed the working limit and will only do overtime if that wage will be mote than £155.55 otherwise it is not worth it.

    She would love to do a few extra hours a week but the Government limits what she can do and this does not adobe well with here employers but there is nothing she can do as her hands are tied.

    It is not her fault but the stupid rules this government make.

    The Government has got this rule wrong and it must be scrapped.



    • #3

      Thanks, Pompey

      I couldn't agree more!

      If they had to pay carers the minimum wage for 35 hours a week it would be £207. 55 a week. And you can be sure that if paid care was brought in they'd be on more than the minimum wage.

      Many years ago I cared for my OH who was terminally ill. I had to go on nights so I could look after him during the day, so I got no Carers Allowance at all, although he was on full highest rate DLA under special rules. I got very little sleep, and still cared for him far more than 35 hours.
      It should be totally non means tested, based on the frequency, hours and level of care at a fair rate, and paid to more than one person if appropriate.
      Considering the latest report by Leeds University (in conjunction with Carers UK) carers are saving the Government a staggering £119 Billion a year. Time to send them the bill!

      Here's the report, Valuing Carers 2011, for reference:
      Attached Files


      • #4


        Indeed totally agree, if we put our mum in a care home it would cost in excess of 2k per week for care home and nursing fees.

        Just who is creaming off these profits the care home shareholders me thinks.

        We are saving this Government a fortune and yet paid a pittance to do the same job at home.

        We do not ask to be paid the same only enough to support us in the role we have chosen with out robbing peter to pay paul.



        • #5

          Couldn't agree more. The role of a carer can be incredibly stressful and demanding at times. Frequently they have to cope with situations that many of us would never, in our wildest thoughts, dream might happen, yet they deal with this, calmly, day in day out. In reward they get their £55 per week to insult the critical job they do.

          If you are a carer and reading this you may well find that there is a group near you formed specifically for carers to offload. You cannot be expected to deal with so much without any outlet for the frustration that must, at times, build up in you. Details of these groups are usually advertised in the CAB and local doctors' surgeries. If you think they might help you, please go and find out.


          • #6
            Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

            Indeed totally agree, if we put our mum in a care home it would cost in excess of 2k per week for care home and nursing fees.

            Just who is creaming off these profits the care home shareholders me thinks.

            We are saving this Government a fortune and yet paid a pittance to do the same job at home.

            We do not ask to be paid the same only enough to support us in the role we have chosen with out robbing peter to pay paul.

            There aren't even enough placements for those who, either for reasons of level of care needed or lack of suitable people to give home care have no alternative but to be in a care home.
            The primary objective should always be to keep them in their own home as long as possible. I'd go kicking and screaming into a home..I'd rather sit in a puddle at home if it ever came to that!
            More to the point, if they made home care a more viable option, more families could afford to reduce hours or give up work to be carers, thus relieving the pressure on care homes and making places available for high dependancy patients.
            Last edited by Undercover Elsa; 2 July 2011, 16:05.


            • #7
              Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

              True, Caspar!
              Most councils list local resources/support groups for carers too on their websites.
              Very often it can be helpful to check out diagnosis specific charities too, such as the Alzheimers Society or Mind etc


              • #8
                Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                Hi Guys, hope you don't mind me poking my oar in.

                But it is great to see a thread started on this subject so that we can all share ideas

                Well Done!

                Something for those that are looking at the costs involved. it pays to get the person needing care assessed fully on two counts. Firstly for the "social" type care and support, hot meals, dressing, washing and separately for the nursing care element of the overall package. None of the authorities will tell you this voluntarily but the nursing care element has to be paid for by the NHS. Primary Care Trusts wriggle like hell but it is their statutory obligation to provide the nursing element. This brings the costs down and is a useful bargaining chip with local social services whose knowledge of the law and regulations is usually strictly limited.

                Last edited by garlok; 5 July 2011, 18:50.


                • #9
                  Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS


                  Please step right in as your comments are greatly received.



                  • #10
                    Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                    thanks, all, I have just found this thread, and appreciate the advice and support here. I will keep popping in and keeping up. I am full time carer for my husband, and now that I am retired, even tho my pension is less than the magic £100 per week, I am not able to claim this as it is deemed to be an 'overlapping benefit' how unfair is that?


                    • #11
                      Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                      Hi mrsinvisible,
                      You are so right, that is incredibly unfair. The whole system needs a realistic shakeup, based on fairness, common sense and need, not tricks to expand the public purse.
                      This overlap also applies to other benefits such as
                      Contribution based ESA, Maternity Allowance,Widows Benefits and even Severe Disablement Allowance. Incredible.

                      Have you applied for pension credit...I believe you can get a carer premium added to that..

                      Pension Credit - introduction : Directgov - Pensions and retirement planning

                      kindest regards,
                      Shepherdess x

                      Edit: From NHS Choices - Carers:

                      If you can't get Carer's Allowance

                      If you can't be paid any Carer’s Allowance because you're being paid another earnings replacement benefit, you still have an 'underlying entitlement' to Carer’s Allowance.
                      Although you will not be paid Carer’s Allowance, it's still worth making a claim for it because the underlying entitlement to Carer’s Allowance can mean you're more likely to qualify for means-tested benefits.
                      This is because an amount called a carer's premium (or carer's addition for Pension Credit) can be included when your means-tested benefit entitlement is worked out.
                      Last edited by Undercover Elsa; 10 July 2011, 08:15.


                      • #12
                        Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                        Hi Shepherdess,

                        I am extremely aware that after two years solid of looking after me, sometimes in very difficult times that she needs a rest. My illness is currently "playing up" on and off each day. Is there anywhere I could voluntarily go, or where she could put me, in order to give her a well deserved break from her duties?


                        • #13
                          Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                          Hi Caspar,
                          Very good point. Let me cogitate on that while I have my breakfast, and I'll get back to you. Do you mind telling me your "official" diagnosis? Don't worry if not...but some facilities can be illness specific.
                          kind regards,
                          Shepherdess xx


                          • #14
                            Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                            Incoming pm!


                            • #15
                              Re: DEBT HELP FOR CARERS

                              Excellent thread well done and most helpful.

                              With being a full time Carer myself, this is very useful, much appreciated, thank you.