Hello, I’m desperately looking for some advice on what appears to be a thorny issue with carers allowance! I am self-employed and have been for some years. However, due to the fact that I look after my son who has autism, I have reduced my work hours and have earned a lot less money in the current tax year than in the previous 2017 to 2018 tax year. I applied for carers allowance in January and was told to submit my 2017 to 2018 accounts. When I explained that these weren’t relevant to my current earnings I was told that I would have to still submit them but when turned down, I could then apply to fill in forms every 13 weeks detailing my current income. My concern with this is that my money doesn’t come in in a regular way. Some months I might be paid for a number of jobs and others none at all. Im wondering if this mean that on the month when my money comes in I will be penalised even if I earn nothing the next month?
I also asked if I could cancel the claim and begin again on the 6th of April, meaning that the relevant years accounts will be taken into account. I would then claim the previous three months as a backdated claim to make up for what I’m losing by not applying now. They informed me I could do this but I wouldn’t be able to backdate to January 2019 because they would base the backdate on the 2017-2018 tax year, despite by that time being in possession of the accounts relating to 2018-2019. I can understand why they would based their calculation on the previous tax year when not in possession of the current tax year‘s completed accounts but once that tax year is over and they have the accounts why would they revert back to a tax year with no relevance to the period of time in which I wish to backdate? It simply doesn’t make sense and seems like an unfair way of penalising the self-employed.
I’m very concerned about this and would be really grateful for any advice or help as this appears to be a choice between losing any money I could’ve claimed from January to April or losing money in the year ahead if I happen to get paid more than the allowance on any particular 13 week period. Apologies for the long post and many thanks