Claiming carers allowance and being made to job search?

This next story is one we heard last week. The person we spoke to is very adamant that this is the truth, and that this is happening to him. We can only write upon his word, but we did see his paperwork regarding job searches etc.

A gentleman walked out of the supermarket in an obviously agitated way. He was upset so I stopped and asked him if he was ok.
He said that he is a carer for both his wife and his daughter. He is a registered carer and his daughter has learning problems and attends a special school. And that he also receives carers allowance.
He said that he couldn’t understand why the Jobcentre were making him do work searches. He said that they were hounding him constantly and he had already been sanctioned twice because of this.
He has to take his daughter both to and from school because of her special needs, but the Jobcentre had told him that he had to get a childminder. He said that would be impossible because of her condition.
He was very upset. He said that he needed to find work because then they will leave him alone. In his previous life he was a lorry driver for a haulage company. We asked him how would he do that? He has two people to care for. And he should not be having to undergo job searches.
He then told us of an experience where the Jobcentre forced him to attend an interview, knowing that he wouldn’t get the job because he doesn’t have his cards. They had ran out and he needs to renew them. We informed him that he does not need to complete job searches, because he is a registered carer and this in itself is seen as one of the only conditions that you don’t have to undertake job searches.
We spent quite a bit of time with him and we hope that we managed to help him. We advised him of his rights and told him that we would help him as much as possible.

Now this really worried me. If he is indeed claiming carers allowance like he said he was then his advisor obviously doesn’t know their own rules, or they do and they could be bending them.
It also made me also wonder if there is a new kind of conditionality scheme concerning people claiming carers allowance? I cannot say which one could possibly apply as I didn’t see the absolute proof of his claim for carers allowance, however we did see his obvious distress.
Whatever the reason,this man should not be suffering like this. What sort of a world do we live in when we are making a person who cares for his sick and disabled child suffer like this?
I will try and keep you updated on this case.
Please note. I’m taking a risk and writing this upon word of mouth information. Therefore I have not seen all of his paperwork. Therefore I cannot lay claim to complete accuracy like I normally cn. An appointment was made to see our local MP who was also very concerned about this matter.
Just because it shouldn’t be happening doesn’t mean that it isn’t happening. Something has obviously gone very wrong here for this chap. And I intend to get to the bottom of it.
And for those saying that this cannot happen, it happened to a friend of mine last year. The jobcentre got stopped in their tracks because we had informed her of her rights. If she hadn’t it would have been a different story.

Also I’m really wanting to get the issue of in work conditionality whilst on universal credit out there. We really need to make people see how harsh and unfair this is.
I know that this is a big ask, but if you or anyone you know having to go through this please can you contact me? No names need to be given, but a contact email address etc would be great. Both myself, DPAC,  Boycott Workfare and other agencies are really trying to raise awareness about this. Thank you very much.

“There can be no compromise with universal credit conditionality and Sanctions. It’s like saying we are going to hurt you, but only a bit so it doesn’t matter.”

Oh and for all the grammar police out there, if you feel that my blog is so terrible then please don’t read. I purposely don’t use complicated words, I like to keep my blog short and simple. I am aware that I am not perfect and I often write on the go. Ive got a couple of suggestions for you. Why don’t you do some campaigning yourselves? Maybe you won’t be as quick to judge then, or even better write your own blog.

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44 thoughts on “Claiming carers allowance and being made to job search?

    1. this happened to myself..my son became my carer…..as well as taking £62 from my severe disibility allowance ..they have taken £30 fro his job seekers £73…….and expect hi to look for obs….he spends 35 hours helping e…plus 2 hours of travel…….

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      1. Awful. They should not be doing this. My guess is that they are trying it on if he claims even a small amount of income support. So wrong because this is in breach of their own rules

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      2. thank you for the helpful information , i will now takes steps to correct the situation…and follow advice to make sure he gets on income support……sean mac duibh sith (john macphee)

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      3. If you are on DLA or any other qualifying benefit, and he receives carers allowance,why is he having to claim jobseekers allowance at all? surely being your carer for 35 hours a week means hes not eligible for work. so should be on income support as my daughter is?

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    1. My son is now a registered carer for me…all official…..confirmed by letter….also a letter saying his job seekers .has been cut…….dwp gain back £30….so it is a loss to me in all reality……..

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  1. Another appalling situation, which seems to have no sense attached to it.
    I was under the impression that a Registered Carer could not be forced either to work or jobsearch. Assuming of course, that they are an official Registered Carer looking after someone who receives a qualifying disability benefit.
    Even under Universal Credit there is the ‘Carers Test’:

    ‘If you and/or your partner care for a severely disabled adult or severely disabled child for 35 hours a week or more, and you are eligible for Universal Credit, you may qualify for extra money called the Carer element. The severely disabled person doesn’t have to be living with you but must be getting one of the following:
    Attendance Allowance
    Constant Attendance Allowance
    Disability Living Allowance (at either middle or higher rate care component)
    Personal Independence Payment (at either standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component)
    These requirements are also known as the Carer Test. If you meet them, you will be in the no work-related requirements group.
    If you don’t meet them, your Claimant Commitment may still be adjusted to show the caring responsibilities you have.’

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    1. jeff i think you will find a lot of carers dont get universal credit yet. so are still under the old rules n regs. no one i know in my area gets it yet (that is no one in my family or friends circle)

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  2. tightening the screws dwp jcp will attack the weakest aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado jeff3

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  3. I am a Carer too and while I have not been made to job search I did have to attend regular appointments for a year at the job centre. To be honest this was fine as the job centre advisor I saw was brilliant. I came away feeling good every single time as he used to ask about my son and how things were….it was a little like a short counselling session, he now rings me about once every six months just see if all is okay. I am certain this is a routine he has to follow. Then again the poor man has also been through the mill and lost his daughter two years ago. If anyone understands that life can be hard HE certainly does.
    Best of all when I do go back to work he has said he will help me work out what is financially viable and what isn’t. At the moment I am in a good place as my son now attends a special school and I have more time. When I suggested that I might be able to look for work he said that perhaps volunteering would be a good stop gap to see if me being out of the house on regular hours would interfere with my caring responsibilities.
    He was quite right. I now volunteer as parent support for local families. It’s a few hours every week and gives me a sense of achievement. It also means I can add it to my CV.

    Suspect I am lucky to have a great advisor though…..he is also very funny if you get him on the subject of Universal Credit. Sufficient is it to say he does not agree with the Govt.

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      1. my daughter is in same boat. my carer. i receive middle rate care on DLA plus higher rate mobility for life. she gets carers allowance. she has had to go in for routine appointments with a job advisor. but each time she is told that she doesnt have to look for work but if she wishes to they will help her. (i cant help wondering if when this happens they are basically thinking, get them into part time work then we can say they are not available the required number of hours to do the caring needed.(i am a suspicious old trout i’m afraid.)

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  4. Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball and commented:
    With each new day another attack upon disabled people and carers – this from a Government headed by a PM, David Cameron, who had a disabled son. All Prime Ministers look to a legacy, Cameron’s will be written upon the gravestones of all those his odious policies have placed within.

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  5. It truly wouldn’t surprise me if the little Hitlers behind the desks or counters try and bend the rules and have people so upset that they enjoy the power they have!
    I really hope that the gentleman can find the help he needs.
    As for those who just like to cause trouble by being the grammar police for someone who is doing sterling work – UP YOURS – or up your’s – or up yours’ etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. chances are neither he nor his wife actually looked after their son,Ivan, they had/have ebnough money to employ private nannies or carers.so he wouldnt have a clue.

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  6. I’m a carer with my mentally disabled son. Wife left us 26 years ago, but managed to continue working by paying the ex in-laws to watch my son while I was at work, but now they’re elderly and my health failing, which has meant I’ve been forced to stop working at the job I had. I now volunteer at a Carers charity and the Citizens Advice. I was claiming ESA, but the worry and stress to get it has meant I went on Income Support rather than go through the assessment process again.
    I’ve worked nigh on 40 years, but Government put me out of my skilled trade when they encouraged contractors to manufacture offshore, which led me into the physical job I can no longer do.

    Trying to find part time work I can do around my son, but the cuts have made the council cut back on transport to daycentre tied in with them bringing in charges for daycare. One attack after another.

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  7. I claim Carers Allowance for looking after my son. Until recently I only had to attend the Job Centre once every three years which is hardly a big deal. However, at my last appointment in April the ‘advisor’ kept going on about Carers now being required to attend JC+ frequently and demanded to know ‘what my plans were?’ – well, back in the real world where someone needs to be with my son 24/7 there isn’t much scope for ‘making plans’. When I said ‘well, ideally what I’d like to do was get my PhD’ she was utterly dismissive. No doubt if I said I’d love to go on some workfare scam she would have been thrilled. Btw, it wasn’t Carers Allowance which concerned this ‘advisor’, it was the fact that I get a small amount of Income Support too, meaning she thought she could talk to me as if I was worthless.

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    1. Hi. I know this is an old post but I am a new carer claiming CA and the adviser at jobcentre wants me in for interviews every 6 weeks ( God know why as not looking for work) but carers UK says interviews for carers are every 36 months. Maybe this is something new I have not been told about! How often did they make you go in after this?

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  8. I used to do one of 3 things from the 80’s phone them and demand they arrange for care, at their cost, to arrive a set time before the appointment and leave upon your return. THey used to say we’ll make a note on your file and you won’t receive any more letters
    Write them a letter demanding the above.
    Finally when computers became reliable and cheaper, within some peoples budget, email them and demand the same this is what I used to put in the email:
    To whom it may concern,
    I have been asked to attend (OFFICE state address) on (date and time). If you require my attendance then I request that the JCP/DWP provide relief care for the person I care for from (minutes needed to get to said office plus up to 10 minutes for waiting) until my return.
    If no relief care turns up then I will not be attending your office for said appointment, if this results in any sort of stoppages to the benefits received then without further notice court action will be taken for the return of all benefits stopped plus £5000 and all court costs plus a daily charge of £50 to be added from day 8 of winning the court case if the money is not paid.
    Their grovelling letter of apology was the same we have put a note on your file and you should not receive any more. They stopped around 2005 when I just sent in county court papers all signed and fees paid they paid £200 but it stopped the letters, wish I hadn’t put up with their shite for 20 years because I enclosed a copy of every letter asking me to attend appointments and letters from them saying they had put it on file I was a carer and didn’t require their services. I only had 3 letters but it scared the shite out of them

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It might be worth sending a freedom of information request to DWP to clear up the legislation regarding carers being forced to jobsearch. I sent one approx 12 months ago, and as it stood at the time, it was an initial work focused interview at the start of the claim, then every three years after. It is possible that things have changed in the 12 months since I asked, but it’s worth checking if their rules have changed or they are just trying it on.

    Here’s the link to my FOI.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/are_full_time_carers_required_to#comment-57999

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  10. This person should be demanding the return of the stopped money claiming fraud by the DWP, after all he never had to attend in the first place plus demand compensation for each incident.

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  11. where did leedsjon1’s comment go? not that i think he was bonefide. he got the number of hours a carer is required to be doing the job for one thing .its not 21 its 35. and as i said,it happens to my daughter ( 6monthly appointments with a job centre advisor) and she too is on income support though the carers allowance is taken off that so she lands up with around £20 above her income support..the equivalent to the amount they are allowed to earn before they lose income support.so its income support minus carers allowance plus £20 (or whatever it is these days) they are allowed to earn before stoppages.

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  12. I’m not surprised. One advisor told me “carers think they don’t have to look for work but they do. The idea is to get you off benefits”. I pointed out that I actually don’t have a work search requirement on my claim because I actually care for roughly 20 hours a day! She stopped and I never saw her again. I’m guessing anyone who doesn’t know their rights could be taken advantage of and subjected to work search conditionality. She tried to convince me I could work 16 hours a week. I told her to do the maths. It’s impossible unless I don’t ever sleep!

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  13. I seem to have it sorted, but…. I’m careing 80hours a week, doing a little voluntary [to get out the house] work and trying to do a little self employed [well if you’r unemployable what else is there]. I reckon I spend 3 times more on ‘form filling’ than I do actualy ‘earning money’, then I also do a little [paye] ‘cover work’ – maybe 12 hours a year which seems to effect my income support, and the worst…….. If I don’t keep ontop of the ‘paperwork’, everything stops and has to be ‘re-sorted’ which I am generaly too knackered to deal with as quickly as I should. There must be a simpler way, if I was ‘sane’ I’d pull the plug on everything except my careing role, stay home and go ‘more’ MAD

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