Tag Archives: Carers Allowance

parent carer of disabled child

Parent Carer of a Disabled Children – Undervalued?

As a parent carer of disabled children I feel that we are deeply undervalued. Well carers in general, but I would like to focus on being a parent carer of disabled children. Those of us who do not go out to work, and earn a certain amount, seem to be considered that we are not doing enough. This post was actually triggered by a comment about whether I would like to come off benefits at some point. You see the thing is I am a parent carer as I have 2 disabled sons (only one of which I receive carers allowance for). Some would argue that they are my children and I should not receive money for them (see my previous post on Pinkoddy about why I feel it is right for people to claim disability living allowance for their children). But I want to do whatever I feel will help them most in life.

parent carer of disabled child

You can claim Carers Allowance as a Parent Carer

Carers allowance is paid to those (including if you are a parent carer) who are looking after someone who receives:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance – the middle or highest care rate
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance at the basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)
  • Personal Independence Payment daily living component

The  parent carer (but you don’t have to be the parent) must be over 16 years old and care for at least 35 hours a week, for which they are given an allowance of £59.75. Ironically the comment was made after we had been discussing the fact that self-employed people should be earning at least the minimum wage, but this equates to less than £1.71 an hour! Well below minimum wage. Of course after putting your career on hold if you are lucky enough that child will become independent enough to leave home and make a life for themselves. But what of you then – too old to retrain and lacking in experience to work other areas, the whole time you have been scrapping by on minimum money.

parent carer of disabled child

Now I know that you can be a  parent carer and work around these hours (say when a child is at school). I feel that you are lucky if as are a parent carer you have  found a good enough employers to be flexible with time off, or have a child who, you feel, does not need you to be readily available. Obviously some people HAVE to work, as Carers Allowance is not enough.

For those of us who feel that we need to be (and I am well aware that parents of non-disabled children may feel this too) available for our children – for IEP meetings, annual reviews, because your child is not coping/need to go to the hospital/has fallen asleep – whatever the reason to be taken out of school at short notice – then this small amount of money helps make that a possible option. Whilst they are at school we may also be doing things to help them when they are home again (maybe setting up something to help them develop socially, emotionally, their language, fine motor skills etc, or arranging appointments, going through paperwork, washing their wet bedding – I am sure the list (and seriousness) could go on and on.

And of course there’s all the things that as a parent carer you have to do, above and beyond what you would do for a non-disabled child, for the 35 hours that you are with them. The one thing I am pleased about is that to receive carers allowance you do not have to justify what you do, you just have to show that the person you are caring for has a need to be cared for.

And yes I would like not to have to feel like the best situation is for me to claim, I would love that my son had no additional needs.

Do you feel that you are a parent carer who is undervalued? What kind of things do you feel are beyond the norm that you have to do in your role as a  parent carer? What would you say to someone who tried to undervalue what you do?

Disability Living Allowance Answers

Answers to some questions you may have about Disability Living Allowance for children

You may be familiar with my post on Pinkoddy about my thoughts on “Why you Should Claim Disability Living Allowance for your Children.” It seems to have uncovered a few questions that people are searching the answers for.

New claims for Disability Living Allowance (DLA) are only for children under the age of 16; over 16 they are classed as adults and, from the 10th June 2013, must now apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) instead.

It is split into two components: Care and Mobility. Children under the age of 5 cannot receive mobility unless they are physically disabled, or the condition is very severe – the reason given is that most children under the age of 5 would need extra help to ensure they were safe (for example when crossing roads).

How much help with Mobility you need will depend on the rate that you are paid.

Disability Living Allowance Rates

  • Lower – £21.80 a week – Guidance or supervision outdoors.
  • Higher – £57.45 a week – Severe walking difficulty.

How much help with Care you need will depend on the rate that you are paid.

  • Low – £21.80 a week – you need help for some of the day or preparing meals.
  • Middle – £55.10 a week – frequent help or constant supervision in the day, or at night.
  • High – £57.45 a week – help or supervision through the day or night, or you are terminally ill.

Answers to some questions you may have about Disability Living Allowance for children

  • You do not need to be eligible for other benefits, it is not means tested.
  • You do not need to live in a Council house, or assisted accommodation – it does not matter where you live.
  • You do not need a diagnosis .
  • A diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, Autsim, Aspergers, Anxiety, may mean that your condition effects you in a way that you are entitled to Disability Living Allowance, but it does not mean that you will automatically qualify.
  • There is not a limit on how many people in a household can claim – so if you have 3 disabled children then you can claim Disability Living Allowance for each child – you can only claim Carers Allowance once though – each child would need a different adult as their carer.
  • Carers Allowance is payable to anyone who looks after a child who receives the middle or high rate of the Care component for at least 35 hours a week.
  • Disability Living Allowance is a tax free benefit; Carer’s Allowance is however not; it is taxable and you must declare it as taxable benefit to the Inland Revenue on your Tax Credits renewals.
  • It is paid every 4 weeks into a Bank Account.
  • The money is for and belongs to the child.
  • Changes must be reported.

The most important thing to remember is that you have to demonstrate why the child fits the criteria and how they differ from their peers.  Always write from the perspective of them having a bad day. This can be an incredibly emotional thing to do so I always recommend doing it on the computer, then,  at renewal time you can just update the information. This does however mean that the claim cannot be back dated.

You can receive help at the job centre in filling the form out.  If you can get help from a disability advice specialist.

If you disagree with the outcome you can always ask for a reconsideration.

If you have anything you wanted answered, or want to offer any help with things you feel may be of use then please do add them in the comments.

This is not a sponsored post.