Fined by DWP for Carers Allowance?

Hi everyone,
I cared for my dad from Feb 2016 to end of July 2016 until he went into a care home so I could have respite from caring and it was after the birth of my daughter who had Group B Strep and was in hospital for a week, I was also suffering from various mental health problems including PND and anxiety.
I understood that there was a 12 week grace where I could still receive Carers Allowance whilst dad was in respite, however, he ended up sadly not coming home as the care support agency we used pulled out last minute leaving me with no care, therefore I couldn’t cope solely on my own (my dad had a stroke and has very high care needs and I couldn’t lift him by myself as he needs two carers, bless him) and there was no other care support available due to lack of supply and our remote area. I did notify them, however I have received a letter with a fine for £360 today for the Oct/Nov period? Should I challenge this? I am really confused, the last thing I would do is not inform them or be dishonest, in fact I notified them that I was no longer caring for dad Nov/Dec 2016 as even to this day my dad still wants to come back and I was afraid I would receive such a letter. I simply don’t have the money upfront and didn’t know I was doing anything wrong, now I am really stressed and anxious about the situation. Please nobody judge, I am already in a very difficult situation. Thanks in advance for your advice. :frowning:

Hi Claire
I would challenge them. Others will be along with constructive advice. Sorry I can’t be any more help.
You won’t be judged I promise. Its a non judgemental forum and you will be supported all the way. You haven’t done anything wrong. ((( hugs ))) to you at this difficult time.


If you get Carer’s Allowance for looking after another person, your benefit will stop when you move to live in a care home. … If you were living in hospital before moving into the care home and payment of DLA, PIP or AA had already stopped, you will not be paid from the first day in the care home.

If the person you look after goes into hospital and you are no longer providing care for at least 35 hours a week, you can continue to get Carer’s Allowance for up to 12 weeks or until their disability benefit stops.

Hi ClaIre … CAB ? … seconded … they are the experts … contact details :

Contact us - Citizens Advice

Let us know how you get on … it will help others and add to our collective knowledge base.

Thank you everyone you for your kind and supportive advice. Currently up feeding my baby son and reading your advice. Will definitely challenge and complain about the decision. Unfortunately they sent the letter on a Saturday over bank holiday so I’ve 3 days of worrying and not being able to do anything!!!

Your welcome , Claire.

Hi everyone
I spoke to dwp today and apparently I’m only allowed 4 weeks respite despite the website saying different. Was in tears at end of call and said I couldn’t pay it I’m very confused. Explained everything but he said something about mandatory reconsideration. My mental health and anxiety makes things sometimes harder to understand.


spoke to dwp today and apparently I’m only allowed 4 weeks respite despite the website saying different.

In which case , did you report a " Change in Circumstances " to the CA Unit ?

( Father in residential home temporarily … did not meet CA criteria during that time he spent in there ? )

Any further information so that we can try to get to the root cause would be appreciated.

I know from my own caring days …now more than a decade ago … if I wanted a break from caring , I would lose CA if I
couldn’t meet the minumum 35 hours qualifying time … fat chance … £ 15 per hour for someone to look after my mother
in my absence ???

Have the Rules changed since then ?

Did you take our advice and contact the CAB before speaking with the DWP ?