Am I a carer? (Apologies if done to death)


I’m new to this site and unsure if I am a carer. What I do seems nothing compared to what a lot of people face when supporting someone.

My husband has a long-term mental health condition. He was recently awarded income-related ESA but doesn’t (yet?) receive PIP or similar, so there is no question that I can be a carer from a benefits point of view as far as I can tell.

However, I support him emotionally, with things like finances and life admin, getting to new places, accompanying him at medical appointments, reminding him to do self-care and generally keeping him as balanced as I can. He saw an advert at the GP which said people who think they may be a carer should inform the GP. I’m not sure how this would help our situation other than to point me towards support for myself?

I guess my questions are:

  1. Am I a carer?
  2. Is it worth informing the GP for my benefit?

Any thoughts welcomed.

Hi FSF … welcome to … CarerLand.

A carer ?

YES … to both questions … claiming no benefits or allowances associated with caring does not exclude you.

( A few gp surgeries have special facilities for carers … rare but not unknown, )

Benefits / Allowances :

Time to crunch some numbers through an online benefits calculator … ideal for " What if " scenarios if a claim
for PIP is envisaged with ESA already in the frame :

The results should reveal the new position … assuming the right flavour of PIP ( Daily living component ) … and
also the effect of you claiming Carers Allowance contingent on PIP being granted … both under the old money
system and the now dreaded Universal Credit.

Feel free to bounce any results of us … hardly any are straight forward.

Care :

Subject to the above , upto date Needs and Carer assessments through your LA should be on the menu.

If needed , I will post links for both so that you know what to expect.

Mental health :

On MIND’s radar ?

Housing :

Any problems ?

Home owner / tenant ( Social / b.t.l. ) ?

Husband :

Power of Attorney … any thoughts ?

Fairly quiet on the forum as I type … others will be along to add further thoughts / recommendations / advice.

Yes you are definitely a carer, even if not entitled to benefits as one. What’s more you’re doing the hardest, most stressful part of caring.

You should inform your gp. There are lots of little practical adjustments they can make to make your life easier. You will probably get easier access to appointments, certainly more understanding if you are late or have to cancel at short notice. Being aware of this extra pressure in your life. Free flu jab if you want it. Others will doubtless tell you lots of others later. You could just phone or e-mail to tell them if you aren’t going to see them in person anyway.

How nice that your husband suggested it to you. My partner and caree suggested joining this forum. A very practical way of showing he notices and cares.

Chris, thank you for your reply and info. Fortunately we have no housing issues. I will look at the other things you mentioned. I’m not sure what’s happening with PIP. My husband is going to have a Capability for Work face-to-face assessment soon, but this is related to the ESA (I believe). It’s all very confusing and new to us. Neither of us have ever claimed any benefits before.

NHShater, thanks for the info also. I will call the GP surgery tomorrow and get the ball rolling. I am starting to feel the pressure, especially with three children to look after, so it’s paramount I continue to function well!

Your welcome.

When it comes to the benefits jungle , you’ll probably need a guide … us.

A little bit like Alice in Blunderland … nothing appears real ?

Question should your husband be in the income related support group?
Has this been explored.
Because if he is in the support group or waiting you can make a call to carers allowance. They will know he is in the system.

Sunny - yes, he is waiting for the income-related support group. I will find out about the carer’s allowance. Not sure how long it takes to access the group and what it’s for. I need to do more homework!

It is all very confusing and bewildering even when you’re used to it and it often feels like Alice in Wonderland - nothing’s as it seems. For example the way PIP is actually assessed bears no relation to the criteria supposedly used for assessing the benefits.

Three children as well. You’re going to be very busy.

Best Wishes

Ring DWP and ask for a PIP claim pack asap.
When it arrives, there will be a “return by” date on it, usually 4 weeks away. If you return it within the set time, the benefit will be backdated to the day of the claim.
The form looks a bit daunting, because there is one form to cover all sorts of different disabilities.
If you feel help is need with the form, there should be a benefits advice service near you, or a Citizens Advice Bureau. I have arthritis in my hands, so DWP sent someone to fill in the form for me. He was very good indeed (not often I praise a govt. department!!)

I liken the care and support system as like a game of Snakes and Ladders. Forum members, between us, can hopefully alert you to the Snakes and pont you in the direction of the Ladders.

Thank you Sunny.

Bowlingbun thanks for the advice too. We did go to Citizens Advice a while back, which led to the ESA we didn’t know my husband was entitled to, which was then backdated. The advisor mentioned PIP but she seemed to think he would only scrape the minimum number of points. But now he has a psychiatric report stating his current career is effectively over and that he is functioning at a basic level, so perhaps we should revisit PIP.

I’m getting the impression (as a newcomer to benefits) that no one is going to tell us what we are entitled to. We have to be proactive, right?!

I have registered as a carer with my GP today. I wouldn’t have done this unless I’d joined this forum as I guess I felt like a fraud!

See for yourself…
When reading this keep in mind…
Think of the worse days not the good days. What happens on the worse days.

The DWP will add together your points from all the mobility activities. If you get between 8 and 11 points in total, you’ll get the mobility component of PIP at the standard rate. If you get at least 12 points in total, you’ll get the mobility component at the enhanced rate.