Self employment and carers allowance

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


Hi Helen … welcome to the canteen.

Carers Allowance and self employment ?

A regular visitor to this forum and several others !

That weekly limit of £ 120 and still be paid Carers Allowance … earnings fluctuate both above and below said limit …
almost week by week over an extended period ?

In the circumstances you have described , one for the Carers Uk Advice Team.

Contact details follow … best by email :

Two factors not mentioned but will be relevant :

!. Any other benefits / allowances currently being claimed … especially income based ones ?

  1. Universal Credit … already rolled out on your manor ?

Best to add answers to both of those if you elect to approach said Advice Team.

Hi Chris, thanks so much for your speedy reply! I have contacted carers UK. They put me in touch with scope you gave me a number for a benefits rights solicitor and I left a message with them. However it takes five days for them to come back to me. I’m trying to decide between ending the claim and starting again in April, which means I wouldn’t be able to backdate because the unfair rules, or filling in the forms every 13 weeks. I’m interested in hearing whether they do penalise if the money goes over the amount in any 13 week period, especially for the self-employed as you get paid sometimes in lump-sums for work done over many weeks. I’d love to hear from anyone with any experience of this. Thanks again, Helen

Your welcome , Helen.

Yep … most probably many others in the same boat ( SS Titanic ? ) out there.

Time for some trawling , me thinks.

Forum posts galore … as mentioned yesterday to another poster , MumsNet surprisingly a rich vein.
( So I discovered … yet to venture into THAT domain ! ).

A common theme also locally … many neighbours on zero hour contracts … and under UC to boot !

Not happy bunnies … that’s for sure.

For once , that trawling net will reveal many on first casting !

… and mackerels … not sprats !