Carers costs are wrong

Once again I am sorry for writing another post.

Mum has just called me asking for money to pay for her carers. I am stuffed for the month as it is due to paying two lots of rent, one for my old place and one for the new place, plus petrol, food and essential items costs. But no she does not care about that. I have savings, but hell no! It’s one thing to lend money to someone who can pay it back, but I know she won’t ever be able to. Or it will be one of them cases where I’ll get it back at the start of the month, but a week later it’ll be gone again. Just no!

My car also may be on its last legs, I’m just monitoring it now. It’s running fine, but the oil pressure keeps dropping. I’ve spoken to a mechanic who has advised me that if there isn’t a leak, the car could be burning oil. Either that or due to my high mileage and crappy Asda oil top ups occasionally it may just have impacted it. He has advised a high performance oil, I only put it in a couple of days ago. So I am yet to see the effect. Hopefully it will be okay. However, I need to think about affording a new car in the near future. He said that if it is burning oil that badly then a whole engine rebuild will be needed which is just not worth it on a car like mine, it would exceed the value. I also need it for my job, and I refuse to give the job that I worked hard to get up. That car is my no1 priority right now because without it I am stuffed.

Money isn’t abundant as it is, and well she gets more than I do. Our rents are the same too. So I know what things should be like.

I also just think that the social workers have done her financial assessment wrong because she is having to pay that much. I did request that I do it on her behalf and the SW agreed, but never asked me whatsoever. I had explained to them that mum struggles with understanding money and bills. The carers are also asking for the money before she gets paid so someone has stuffed up there. Something could have got lost.

I have done the online financial assessment quite a few times. The local council one suggests that she does not have to pay anything due to her being on such a low income. Yet they are making her pay nearly £200 a month which is a quarter of her income after rent. Gas and electric bills are totalling £200 a month. Food £150. Water £50 a month. Phone £50 a month. (The phone bills are higher here, because there is only one provider in the whole area, there is no other option). On top of that there are transport costs, and other essentials. Plus she has to have money for herself. So it’s just so high.

I just think they have done it wrong and I am being used as a scapegoat once again. I can’t afford to pay for her carers, nor do I want to.

As it is the case across the country, people on benefits don’t always realise the amount of extras they get on top of their income. Yet people on minimum wage are told we just earn too much. So I am finding affording things a little tight. £200 is half of what I have left over every month and well £200 to me is some money towards a new car. I just think it’s a classic case of “be the good daughter.” I have to pay for my medication every month (for an existing condition which can’t be treated otherwise).

I’m just not going to be treat like this.

Have you moved again?

Coolcar, you shouldn’t have to be paying for your Mum’s carers. She it turning to you because she can’t manage her money and the social worker needs to sort this out.

Unless there is a different system where you live; the carers shouldn’t be asking her for money. The paid carers are commissioned by the council, therefore the council pays the care agency (who in turn pay the carers) and your Mum pays her contribution to the council.

Ask for a copy of the financial assessment.

1 Like

I was living with my ex partners family. It’s a long story, but his mum wanted to downsize their home due to her health. He wanted to go with them (or more like she forced him to go with them) and I was morealess forced into finding my own place against my will. It caused divisions in our relationship amongst over things, so we split up. That’s the short version. His mum charged me rent for staying there and wanted the rent for the month when I got my pay check at the end of the month. Because I was moving I had to pay rent for the new place in advance. So out of a 1300 monthly pay I had to pay £800 in just rent alone. I then had to fork out for my petrol for work as normal, food and bits and pieces I needed for the place.

So does his Mum owe you a months refund?

At least it’s only this one month you had to pay out double and dip into your savings if necessary. Is it starting to look a bit more homely?

Not quite. I would pay at the end of the month for my old place, the new place means I pay at the start of the month for the month ahead.

A lot of people are peed off that she forced me to pay that much rent for my final month despite her wanting me out being her idea. A lot of people (mainly their friends and family) did also say she exploited me for money. (She is obsessed with the stuff) I paid my way, that’s what matters. But all that’s another story, both him and her have gone now. I don’t blame him, but good riddance to her.

So I will pay for my rent for the whole of March on the 1st. It’s okay I guess, I’m barely here and at work so that helps.

I also use the term paying for care more figuratively. I know the process.

Mum gets a set amount each month, it’s not great. It’s a little more than I get working a minimum wage job at around 1300 a month.

Her essentials Are taken out of a direct debit aside from council tax and the water and the rent. I deal with those. I also monitor the gas and electric via an app on my phone.

She does not know how to pay for anything, nor does she understand what needs to be paid. All she understands is money goes into her account. She doesn’t understand that at points in the month money will be taken out to pay for things. So she panics when money comes out. The care was supposed to help her budget but it doesn’t seem like it is working so far.

I also specifically asked the social worker to be patched in on the financial assessment because I know all the outgoings. Mum doesn’t understand things like council tax, water and all that.

On a financial assessment they would be seen as essential, but she obviously thinks she doesn’t need to pay them because she doesn’t undertstand them.

She also just had to provide a bank statement which again does not factor in most of her bills. Water is paid as and when, same with council. Rent is paid as and when she is paid based on when the UC payment day falls. Nothing gets paid via direct debit from her account. The assessment also doesn’t factor in her gas and electric bills.

I have done the care calculator thing and it has come up that she would not have to pay due to essential expenditure and the age related allowance.

I just don’t understand how they have stuffed up.

Oh I see, I was worried the carers were exploiting her and asking for money and actually hoping to get paid twice - by the agency and by your Mum.

Did they have proof of the money paid out by you for these? Do these come out of a separate account? Whose name is it in?

They are all in my mums name. The water and the council tax always get paid off early, so there won’t be anything in the bank statements. Rent will be in the bank statements but not as a direct debit

If the council arranged the carers, the contract is between them, NOT mum.
Even if mum doesn’t pay anyone, the care must be provided.
If mum has to contribute towards the carers, that is between her and the council.
If they didn’t assess her properly, and support her properly, that’s the council’s fault, not mum’s.

At no time should carers ever demand money from their carees as mum is suggesting they are.
Don’t pay anything to anyone!!!

It would be better then for these to be paid monthly by DD going forward, even if you need your Mum to have two accounts so that you know there will be enough in the account to do this. She could have an account with whatever is left from paying her bills to spend on shopping etc At least that way she won’t get into debt.

It’s a matter between SSD and mum though, they could and should have set this up for her. It should highlight to them yet again that mum cannot manage her money properly, and so they should consider holding a Best Interests Meeting after a Mental Capacity Assessment, and considering if their Client Affairs Department should become involved.

I would request a best interests meeting pronto in order to discuss everything. This is serious. Tell us more about your mom’s finances. Perhaps also contact a independent financial services expert to see if they can help or not.

Please do NOT share details of finances here, none of us here are trained advisors, but can only speak of our own experiences. If you want to check that mum is claiming everything she is entitled to, contact the Carers UK helpline for confidential advice.

CAB are good with regard to Benefits checking too. TBH I do not think most Financial Advisors have much experience of benefits. I totally agree BB that we are NOT experts and can only signpost posters to hopefully more appropriate help.

I believe mum is claiming everything she is entitled to. Well almost, I do believe she should be on a particular element of universal credit which means they effectively leave her alone and stop making her attend job appointments, but that involves a reassessment. They won’t do it yet because no circumstances have changed. However, she does have enough to live on, she is just terrible with money and doesn’t understand it. At the moment any extra she will get will just be taken away by the care package, so it’s not really worth fighting for that at present.

However, when I dealt with the whole finances before there was enough for everything, I helped her to save a few thousand. She had money to live off every week for herself. No there wasn’t a lot, but we managed. Back then the cost of living packages didn’t come around either, so she paid the full amount for utilities. Now she keeps getting help, so she doesn’t have to top it up because she is not using much. Yet, if those packages stopped which they might, she would struggle to pay for that too.

She shouldn’t be struggling, but it is only because she is terrible with money that she is. In total, she gets more than I do. I manage and I have rent, and a car to pay for. I also have to pay for extras such as medication. However, in the carers assessment, I know they don’t factor in the housing element and the pip mobility, so technically she has less, but not really. It is what she is left with that becomes the problem, and it is still considered a low income and falls under the personal allowance. There are no savings anymore, she managed to spend that couple of thousand in a couple of months, god knows what’s on.

Mum is so bad with money that she can easily spend £50 a day on nothing and then wonder why she has got no money. She will then resort to blaming everyone else (mainly me) that I am stealing money from her and depriving her if I don’t make up the shortfall. I don’t even make that much money myself. She is not happy unless she is spending money, not that she has expensive tastes. She just hoards.

I appreciate all the signposting really, social services are useless really and I don’t know where to go really.

I just know I have had enough and I am done. But at the same time, I am also optimistic. Lately, I feel very ambivalent, happy but really stuffed off too.

I have just had enough of fighting through all the crap from my mum, I just want it to stop. I just can’t be bothered to deal with social workers anymore. It has become very stressful and it has almost become a full-time job having to ring everyone all the time. It was really affecting my job and my colleagues started to notice. Luckily they are very supportive. But it has to stop. Anywhere else and I probably would have got disciplinary or lost my job. I am not doing it anymore, because I am sure as hell won’t give a damn if I lost my job and couldn’t afford my rent anymore.

Now that I am living alone, I have had time to reflect. I am really starting to like the freedom of being on my own away from other people’s nonsense. I have had a difficult time for the past couple of years, and my ex’s mum was very difficult though I very rarely admitted it. She made me feel worse about things, and looking back she really got into my head. She was one of the reasons I was so jumpy about things and suffered badly from panic attacks. I put up with it for my ex, but he has gone now. As I have said before I don’t blame him as such, but good riddance to her. I miss him so much, but I’m not exactly pining after him, sometimes I see something that will make me remember our good times. But it’s all gone now. I have accepted that even if we still have a spark of love for each other then it still would not work thanks to his mother. But I am not going to wait. Im not looking for anyone else, I am just doing me for a while.

i am getting used to living alone a lot more, it’s not perfect. I know I can go home and make food for myself, get a shower if I need to, then turn my TV and PS5 on. I know I can plug my headphones in and listen to music as loud as I want or listen to audiobooks, and not have to worry about if someone is shouting at me demanding something - because no one is.

I went out with my sister for a meal last night to a calvery. After the meal, she said to me, “it is like mum isn’t mum anymore, she doesn’t look like mum, and she doesn’t act like mum.” Those words are correct.

I’m glad you are getting used to living alone. You are now in charge of your own destiny. I suspect you are at the “I don’t want x, y, and z any more” stage. Working out what I wanted for my own future, after my husband died, took a long time. Have you started reading the book yet? It really will help you work out what you want from the future in a positive way, by trying things you’ve always fancied doing, but never tried, big and little. Dare yourself to do different things. One of my goals was learning how to put in invisible zips in dresses (I went on a weekend course which was fun), another was going to a live concert in Bournemouth, but that was a bit disappointing… I realised during the show that it didn’t excite me the way shows used to, so I haven’t done that again. Travelling abroad on my own again was another big thing, something I now love and am always planning my next escape! Just try various things, and then think afterwards whether it was great, to be repeated, or horrible, never to be attempted again!

Coolcar, you are making progress. I am pleased for you.

Yeah definitely. I feel numb to anything to do with mum now and any sort of bother. I just feel like I can’t be bothered. I sound like an annoying Facebook quote, but ‘its me now!’ I feel less restricted for the first time in my life even more so since the loss of my dad.

For a while now I have wanted to go back to unci and do a PhD I have had multiple people ask me over the years if I would ever consider it. Its been something that I had my eye on for a while, and have even spoke to a few people about it, even my old tutor. Obviously, I would have to do it part time alongside my job. I was very unfortunate to finish my BA during 2020, so I never got the end I wanted. I did my masters straight after finishing in January 2022, dad died half way through it. I feel like I’m not finished on that side of things yet.

My old uni offers a course which is affordable. Loans would also give me some more money to play with. I have also wanted to become a proper qualified journalist for a while, but I haven’t had the money to pay for the exams. That money would give me the opportunity to do them. To have a PhD and be a qualified journalist would be amazing.

I originally want to do it before, I planned to think about starting back in January. However, my ex’s mum decided that she wanted me to find a new place to live by the end of the January. So I couldn’t, however there are three intakes per year.

I am not saying it will be easy, and doing all that would be hard work. However, I know I can handle it. I started masters in the middle of a pandemic whilst working nights 6 days a week. My dad was diagnosed with cancer then. I then lost my job on new years eve of all days because I was only a temp. Three weeks later dad dies. I become a carer overnight, and have to deal with his estate as next of kin. I then dealt with the grief and the early pressures of mum, and the pandemic. I then knew I had to get a job to ease the financial pressure. I get a job at Mcdonalds as a temporary thing. Two weeks later I also get a part time job at the newspaper I am at now, so I go back to working six days. I did that until September, when I was offered a full time position. I left Mcdonalds, and carried on just to complete the dissertation and work at the newspaper. I know I can do it.

Your posts have transformed in such a short time! Well done. Enjoy the sound of silence, no more nagging or demands that you are expected to obey.
Now sounds like the perfect time to do your PhD, if anyone deserves it, you do. I did my degree with two young children, I loved studying again, didn’t mind if I had to be up late for an assignment, my brain just loved having something new to think about, a challenge. What do you have to do to start the process?

You go for it gal!!
It’s so pleasing to read your positive post and your aims. You are showing so much confidence, and I certain you will achieve your goals. You time now, much deserved and long awaited.

Coolcar, you could apply for a scholarship/funding for your PhD. I studied for a Masters - I started in September 2019 so I too was studying during the pandemic, whilst juggling 24/7 caring. One of my course mates is now doing a PhD. She has funding for her course/research and a bursary(?) to cover her living costs! She does some part time work too. I loved doing the research project for my Masters. Why not have a chat with a past tutor for some advice.