Is there a official letter to say you are a family carer? Most people that are caring for someone with many health conditions would agree it is like a full-time job. However there doesn’t seem to be an official document to prove you’re a carer. Many might say that’s the carer’s allowance approval letter, that doesn’t say you doing the work as a carer, says you’ve been approved the payment. What is being a “family carer” classed as job or work? Looking at the definitions I would say both apply.
A job is described as an activity, performed by an individual for consideration.
Work refers to any kind of activity that involves physical or mental strain, so as to accomplish a goal.
btw: I do realise there are jobs where people work as carers outside caring for family member, i.e getting a salary, contributing to N.I, paying taxes, etc. Why is caring for a family member any different other than not getting a salary.
Hi Mike, welcome to the forum. I say that carers are 21st century slaves!!
Can I ask if something in particular has prompted your question?
Quite simply Mike, I think unpaid carers are invisible, so we just don’t count…
Thank you for the reply.
I wanted an official document, when various online form ask for what you do (occupation) and you’re not unemployed as such, although I think carers are classed as unemployed. I feel there should be a document to say you’re not working under the tax system, you’re not unemployed, but you’re an official family carer. The document should count as proof towards, various online applications. I feel being an family carer should be classed similar to working under the tax system, where you get official status as a family carer, obviously without paying the taxes, effectively people are doing the same as an salary paid carer, but doing it for a member of the family.
It’s an interesting comment as those who get Carer’s Allowance receive National Insurance Credits to ensure their State Pension is keep topped up, so you would think that should be recognition that we ARE employed… Mind you so many work as well as holding down a full-time Caring role…
It’s an odd situation that I get those Credits as I paid national Insurance for 44 years before having to become f/t carer - yet they boast I get the extra credit - as if it meant I would get extra pension when I have already made sufficient years’ contributions…
Great reply Chris. Thank you. very true.
I agree, there’s various levels of caring full-time and part-time. I think if the carer is doing full-time caring where the cared for requires around the clock supervision and/or assistance (but is not necessarily bed-bound) I think then it should classed more like a full-time job, people in these situation do the role for many years, just like a salary paying job. Currently the government are saying, because it’s your family member, it’s not a job. Jobs as salaried carers do the exact thing, but look after a person outside of the family and they class it as a job.
Wow, the people that do full-time caring and working through for a salary, I don’t know how they do it, it could be the person they caring for does not need constant supervision and assistance or they have home-based job, but either way, I can imagine it’s very draining.
I guess overall as mentioned there are some grey areas, that’s true.
Well Mike there are people who regularly contribute to the Forum who hold down full time jobs and care full time. You are right - I don’t know how they do it and I admire them - I find it hard enough just Caring! Home life after working all day is supposed to be when you relax…
This is all part of the issue about Carer’s Allowance and how is has been kept so low for so many years. Others have commented on the originals of the Benefit being related to a Spinster looking after her elderly parents… These days it covers far more situations but the rate has not been adjusted to reflect the changes. If you Care FULL time (168 hours a week) it works out at 45.68 pence per hour. We don’t get paid holidays; we don’t get sick pay (perish the thought we would EVER be ill ourselves)…Even my GP tells me ‘it’s my job to keep you well so you can Care for Graham’… Speaks volumes.
@Chris_22081 I agree with you about your comments about it being a ‘Benefit being related to a Spinster looking after her elderly parents’. I had my carers assessment review a couple of weeks ago, and I felt like I was rushed through and it was a box ticking exercise. I mentioned by OCD and other health conditions, however they were quick to move on with no real support.
As a not-so-young carer, well still under 30, (I’m 27) I find the support and advice so unobtainable for someone of my age. Everything seems to be aimed at older carers usually women. No I don’t want to go to a coffee morning at a local church, no I don’t want to join a group of ‘like-minded’ women because I can 100 per cent guarantee we will not be likeminded. I am not mocking it, I am pretty sure these people will be uninterested in video games, digital art, or science fiction.
I also received a renewed carers card, and I was looking through the list of shops who support the scheme. Out of the hundreds on the list which I fully appreciate are supporting a great cause, however none for me apart from a sweet shop, but I am on a strict diet because of my health condition, and bowling. Other than that everything was hairdressers, sewing ships, décor shops, and cafes. No specialist shops, not even stationary shops. Everything just seemed to be aimed at older women. I am not saying I am being picky, but there was nothing for younger people, so soft play sessions for younger mums, no cinema offers, no restaurants, no beauty parlours, not even a barber for the men.
I’m hardly expecting big shops, but I agree there should be a national scheme which recognises carers in all their forms not just older women.
I was asked to provide “proof” that the person I was caring for was on attendance allowance.
I sent them pictures of the bank account with incoming figures representing that allowance , but they said that wasn’t acceptable
I rang the attendance allowance people & they sent me a sort of letter / certificate confirming the award of this allowance
I sent them that & all seems to have run smoothly since then
(Hope that is some help)
I know what you mean! My Carers Assessment was a joke. Then I got a letter stating that I had “discussed the Assessment and my situation” - when? No one contacted me after I completed a self-assessment form. I complained and nothing happened!!! I recently got an email saying it is a year since my last review and ‘if anything has changed and you want another assessment get in touch’… Great - no concern for me - as you say a box ticking exercise.
As for the carer’s Discount Card - what a joke that is too. As you say mostly aimed at older ladies. What about us men? I care for my husband who is 68 and I am 62. Loads of hairdressers will give discount but we have a barber who comes to the house as G cannot easily get to a shop. Her charges are very reasonable and LESS than any of the shops listed. Other than that nothing whatsoever that would interest or be of use to me. I checked and there are only four shops within 10 miles of us anyway - so any discount would be offset be travel costs. As you say no big stores or national chains - it’s as if they had not been asked to help - although they give NHS discounts…
Moan moan moan!
The assessment annoyed me because the only advice I was given related to going to a local service for counselling. I have been through this service a number of times over the years, and it never works. I recently found out that CBT is not as effective as people make out, it’s only popular because it’s monitored through numbers.
I was also told to seek more help from my GP. If only I could get an appointment, I have been waiting since before Christmas to be seen about a solid lump under the skin on my thigh.
Other than this there was no sympathy, no offers of help.
Some local carers services have a “Carer’s Passport” scheme which is used locally as proof. When I worked in a carers centre we provided letters to carers known to us. It might be worth contacting your local carers service. You can find local carer services here: Support where you live | Carers UK
i agree i too feel invisible we never seen to fit into any group officially
Hi i used to be a paid carer with shifts and days off and holidays too. Colleagues too
Now i am either helping or supervising 7 days a week often woken during the night and the days are long so .huh this is not a job? i had to drop my hours and then to give up work all together,We now live on one income and with the cost of living rising and the extra things needed for someone who is disabled i feel very anxious and devalued about my role now. i have also been told that when i get my state pension i may not get the carers allowance . i dont know how the authorities think we function under these stresses
Hi Vee. That is right - you will not get CA once you get your State Pension!!!
I had to give up work after G had his stroke so I could care for him. Perhaps I should get a full time job and expect the NHS to provide all the care he needs during the day. Think how much that would cost… Isn’t that what we all say though? How many billions of pounds do we save the State by caring 24/7 as we do. The only reason unpaid care has not collapsed is because we LOVE those for whom we care and cannot see them suffer.
I am not wanting to start a political debate here, but the forthcoming General Election is a tie for everyone to quiz ALL candidates on their views on Caring Support in order to keep our situation front and centre. I don’t expect a political ‘sea change’ but if we make them realise just how many of us there are they just may start to realise how dangerous crossing us could be…