How to make ends meet?

I’m considering leaving fulltime work to care for my elderly mother and father after many months struggling whilst in work. I’m currently applying for attendance allowance for my dad, realising carer’s benefit is dependant upon this. Using the entitledto calculator, assuming attendance allowance is granted, the maximum benefit I may be entitled to is £121.76 per week. There seems to be bias against those with a mortgage as you can’t claim anything towards this. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but the numbers just don’t add up. Making some cutbacks, benefits are only going to cover around 50% of my living expenses.

I’m fairly new to this so maybe I’m missing something. Everyone’s situation is different but unfortunately I don’t have any additional income and would be fully reliant upon benefits. Being a carer on benefits helps the state save money but this is crazy. I don’t see how I can live (very frugally) unless my parents pitch in significantly just to cover bills.

When resigning (voluntarily) from full time work to care, can this affect and delay benefits? When you just want to care for your mum and dad, the financial bombshell really makes it all the more problematic!

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hi Wayne.

When considering half the carer army … 7.8 million in total … are below / at / close to the
Official Poverty Line , you’ll not be alone.

Mortgage interest ?

Now a loan under the new scheme :

As Carers Allowance is not means tested , no problem in claiming now contingent on Attendance Allowance being granted
to your father.

Cutbacks to beyond the bone / potential downsizing ?

All part of the daily struggle low millions of us endure.

Took me just under 19 years to get back to where I was financially before becoming a carer … 10 year stretch followed
by 9 years of the aftermath … now in a small btl flat for the remainder of my existence … unless Camelot agree with
the numbers I chose !

As separate issues … Power of Attorney / needs and carer assessments / housing element … all in couse / done ?

Hi Chris

Thanks for your words of experience, unfortunately a stark reality that seems difficult to grasp at a really tough time. I appreciate your thoughtfulness in responding and will endeavour to become a magician to make it work!

Surely the many millions of carers deserve a fair break and shouldn’t be penalised for their efforts to support our ageing society!! It would see the government are a little tied up with Brexit and not ready to tackle everyday issues…

Numerous threads on the forum cover that issue , Wayne.

Shout … and I’ll post links to the best half dozen … out of thirty or so over the past two years.

For a true ground zero , the MOST IMPORTANT document ever published in carer history … a VERY long read :

Our own Lord Kitch :

All current injustices under one thread.

Hi Wayne,

Would you like to tell us a bit more about them?
So much depends on your parents’ ages, their financial situation, what is wrong with them, and what help they need.

A bit more info about you would help too, especially your age.

If you live with your parents, and they rent from the council or a housing association, rather than own the property, there could be another big problem that you are unaware of, due to something called “succession”. Both your parents are likely to be allowed to stay in the property when the other dies, or moves into care. However, in most, not all areas, YOU WOULD BE ASKED TO LEAVE when they have both died. You may have no right to stay.

It is vital that you find out more about this issue BEFORE you give up work, or you might end up with no home and no income 28 days after they die. That is the grim reality.

Hi Bowlingbun

Thanks for the advice so far.

Both of my parents, 79 and 81, have dementia, with my mum less mobile using a frame. Mostly memory and motivation issues are the main needs. My dad really doesn’t initiate anything. My dad has around £1000 per month income from a private pension with mum receiving a minimal state pension.Their house was paid off years ago.

I am 55 and live very nearby in my mortgaged home, still with around 15 years to run. It’s difficult to see how it can work.


I know it’s not what you want to hear but I think you need to get in external help to help look after your parents so that you can at least work part-time. Perhaps you can explore with your employer what options there are for part time work or working from home or other creative solutions. This situation could last a very long time given the ages and health of your parents, easily up to your own retirement age. The longer you don’t work, the harder it will be to get back into the job market and you have to consider what will happen to you in your old age if you have no income or pension to speak of. Also the older and likely sicker your parents get the harder it will be to stop being their carer whilst it also gets more difficult to get by on Carer’s Allowance.

Did you know that the average 80 year old in England will live another 8 or 9 years?

Please sign the petition on another thread about sorting this financial situation out.

I may have misunderstood the post about signing the petition but it appeared to say Carers in Scotland get a better rate of allowance. It might be a bit drastic and I’m not sure how or even if it would work but have you considered relocating there?

Fairer for carers ?

Not even mutton dressed as lamb … an insult to carers nationwide !

Both your parents should have a “Needs Assessment” from Social Services.

Do you have Power of Attorney for dad and mum?

They should both be receiving Attendance Allowance, and also exemption from paying any Council Tax on the grounds of “severe mental impairment”.