Help needed Carers Direct Payment

Hi all.

I have been caring for my mum for many years. The only help I get is the Carers Direct one off Payment, which gets paid into a dedicated bank account. This payment ran out in December 2019. I contacted my Local Authority in January for the usual yearly carers assessment, and I had an assessment over the phone which took 45 minutes. She advised she will put the assessment to the board and it will take a few weeks, Having not heard anything I contacted the authority and all went crazy. I received a call from a social worker who advised there was no record of my assessment and that carers DP were changing. I was confused and asked her to explain.

She said for me to check the LA website for info and I said I was checking as we spoke and nothing was different and that it said Carers can get a one off payment after they have an assessment of their needs. She said well that’s not the case now! she said now my mum will be financially assessed and that is the only way it is done now?? she said mum will be financially assessed and based on that, she may (she gets Attendance Allowance) have to pay towards it, if not all of it. Id never heard of this.

I then asked her to explain as I was getting upset and she wasn’t very clear about it and became quite unhappy with me. Later I called the same number I had called in the beginning, and someone else advised my assessment was in fact on the system and that it was given to the board but because it wasn’t done in the new way it couldn’t go forward, She too could not be clear with me. The other social worker then called me back trying to arrange for a social worked to come over and go through an assessment again and wanting all of my mums finance papers and detailed incomings etc.

I am so stressed over it all as this was my only means of having a few hours break each week as I get no other help and it was based on me as a carer. I am now concerned that they want to go through all my mums financies, including her attendance allowance and it will start them prying further in to my poor mum and then deciding they wont help towards the costs. I thought they are meant to support us as carers.

I am very upset over how this has been approached with me and how it has left me feeling, unappreciated and worthless. I only get the carers allowance and mums attendance allowance is used for her incontinence products and for the extra things she needs.

Is this right what they are trying to tell me? ive had a carers direct payment one off each year for the past three and no one there seems to know or understand what it now means and cant answer any of my queries. My own health has suffered due to my caring, I now have high blood pressure and on medication and aspirin and the heart consultant advised me to keep away from stressful situations, which is impossible being a carer as we all know. Now with this as well, the thought of never having a few hours off is upsetting me. Im exhausted and I feel so alone.

Im sorry this is so long but I don’t know how to shorten it to make sense :frowning:(

thanks for listening to me :slight_smile:

Hi Lisa,

I’m not surprised you are so upset and hence up and posting in the early hours.

I only know about Needs assessments and Carers Assessments. It seems different councils interpret how they fulfill their obligations to Carers differently.

Can you post a link to what you were referred to on your council website?


Hi Lisa,

You need to go down the complaints process asap thats the way you will get anywhere in my experience.

They think they can do whatever, but will change their ways when the ombudsman writes to them if you win your case.

The ombudsman helped me not for social care but solar panels and it worked after sending in all my evidence. You need to get a subject access request from the social work sometimes a £10 fee, but worth it when complaning.

First time i’ve heard assessments being done over the phone someone told me it was illegal and a council got told by an agency who defends disabled and carers to stop it and they did.

Often the council change the rules and don’t update the website, I have been caught out a few times like this.

The way it used to work was like you say you the unpaid carer get the money into your bank account for YOU the unpaid carer to purchase services for you.

This could be breaks, or towards a new computer or driving lessons, something to help you the carer.

This is nothing to do your mum and her finances.

But sounds like they have tightened up, changed the rules, quite petty really as you are saving the council thousands by looking after your mum.

Have you a local carers centre you can ring up and talk to?
Sometimes it is the carers centres that do the assessments and give the Direct payment.

It is confusing depending which local authority you have.

In my area in one town you have to contact the council Social Services, but 15 miles away the carers centre deals with everything, assessments and direct payments.

It is upsetting and unfair to cause you further stress, it may be worth going through the complaints procedure, the LA should not change the rules and not tell you.

Sometimes carers assessments can be done on the telephone depending on circumstances but normally best to do it face to face.

Hope this helps a bit.