How can people live off this?

Hi, I’m new to the forum, and have looked through and can’t say as I’ve seen this being covered.

My problem is this. I have been looking after my dad now for 14 years. I claim carer’s allowance and income support. Last month I was receiving £64.60 in carers, and £89 (fortnightly) in IS, so £44.50 a week. This worked out £109.10 a week. This month, after the changes that happen every April, I receive £66.15 carers, £42.95 a week IS = £109.10 a week.

So my first problem is, cost of living went up April 1st this year, and so did national minimum wage, and yet, carers are still being paid the same? Not a penny more or less.

My second problem is, and this is an ongoing one, to be a carer you have to do a MINIMUM of 35 hours a week. I have always thought £109.10 a week for 35 hours (even though I do more) is disgusting. I worked it out to be £3.11 an hour. Surely this is wrong, we are being paid less an hour than apprentices, and yet we are still doing a full time job looking after our loved ones? I only bring this up now as I am starting to struggle financially and wondered how others got by an this much a week.

What makes me laugh the most, I had a meeting with a member of staff from the job centre a few months back, just checking see if I was ok, and my circumstances hadn’t changed, apparently these meetings happen every 3 years, but that was my first one in 14 years. Anyway, during the meeting she was telling me I was allowed so many days paid holiday, talking about the services available to look after my dad etc, and she asked if I was looking after myself, that I needed a holiday somewhere nice as a break. When I walked out I just sat in the car and laughed, how am I supposed to pay for a holiday when I only get paid £3.11 an hour?

Sorry for the long post, I do honestly welcome any info or help on how I’m supposed to live on such a small amount for doing a full time job, or if there is anything else I am able to claim etc. Thank you

Hi Nicholas.

One consulation of sorts … you are not alone.

HALF the family / kinship carer army are below / at / close to the official poverty line … some 3.9 MILLION souls.

( EAT / HEAT / ROOF … the Unholy Trinity for most of them. )

Over 100,00 had to use a food bank in the calender year ended 31 December 2017 … possibly 110,000+ in the last year.
( Rollout of Universal Credit currently on hold … only 1 in 10 affected so far … just look at the results ! )

To put that in perspective , Carers Allowance would have to be increased FOURFOLD for those unable to work … limit on weekly earnings DOUBLED … to get each carer close to the official poverty line.

Quite a bit on the Internet on the sums needed … suffice to say , no real figures … especially if housing costs are either
included or excluded.

Bear the above in mind if ever looking at our supporting organisations present policies.

To confirm your present financial position , an online benefits calculator … which will probably be of little comfort :

you could move house maybe Scotland

Thank you for your replies, erm if I can’t afford a holiday not sure I can foot the bill to move to Scotland lol but thanks anyway

As long ago as 20004, 15 years ago, I presented a motion to the CUK AGM in London, passed almost unanimously, that the rate of Carer Allowance should equate to the Minimum Wage.
Some people on CA are caring for 168 hours a week with no help, their hourly rate is pence per hour!
I said that our status was that of slave, with no rights to time off, holidays, or even sick leave.
That it was the only “job” where if you get another one, the wages for your first are taken away.
If you are a child, student, or pensioner, you don’t get anything at all.

My motion caused great consternation with those representing the Executive and was promptly “buried”.

One day I am sure this will change, either

on the grounds of discrimination, as the rules affect more women than men; or

because it is finally reclassified as work.

After all, if there are no family carers, the government PAYS other people to care, so how can it be deemed work if one person does it, but not work when someone else does it?

The disgraceful way successive governments have treated carers is shameful. Caring is an unbelievably hard “job”, both physically and psychologically, although virtually unpaid. The government relies on the love we have for our relatives - in effect cynically blackmailing us. I have cared for my husband with Parkinson’s for the last 14 years. I have gone part-time to care for him better which has reduced our current income and standard of living and means a worse life for me when I finally retire. Government after government pays lip service to the work of carers - yet makes no change at all in the way we are treated. Green papers are promised but never arrive. This must end. If all carers decided to strike for one day, it would be catastrophic - but unfortunately our loved-ones would also suffer. Anyone got any ideas on how we can exert pressure other than by taking “industrial action”?


Anyone got any ideas on how we can exert pressure other than by taking “industrial action”?

Good question that deserves an answer.

Only carers collectively can change their plight.

2009 again … only this time around , a decade on , no organisation exists that can even make a start.

As for " Our Jailer " , look no further :

Said Report is the MOST important document ever released in our history.

I have always said that the words of a judge will be the only real hope.

I still remain of that opinion.

What makes it worse is if you see what the government give foster carers…

Children are at school for a large part of the day yet some of us care 168 hours a week with no such break. As a pensioner I don’t even qualify for carers allowance!

When I reached retirement age I got a letter explaining that although I was still theoretically entitled to Carer’s Allowance, I wouldn’t be receiving it any more. I don’t remember exactly what it said, (and it’s filed away now), but apparently it was important (for some potential reason in the future) that I was still entitled.

There is no reprieve when one draws a state pension, this is classed as a benefit and one can only claim one. 35 hours? I have to be at hand 24/7 as the person I care for, and most of all, :laughing: :laughing: has a swallow problem and can choke.
Noticed Bowling Bun says the same!
Perhaps we we should not wait for social care reform but go for Anti Slavery?

I’ve said for many years that CARERS are the modern day slaves. No sick pay, no right for time off, no pensions contributions either. How many other jobs are there where your first 35 hours pay is taken away if you get a second job???

The government is ruining our lives by saying that CA is an “income substitute”.