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  1. Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by very worried sarah at Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:51 pm

    I have recently posted about this and had a lot of fabulous kind words and advice from justanothercarer, but I was wondering if anyone out there was going through the same as me and maybe be could be a support for each other. My situation is in brief I have an autistic son with other co-morbidities and he gets DLA and CA, I started a part time job at his school so that I could still provide all the care he needs and have a bit of a life too! I genuinely didn't realise CA was linked to any earnings and found this out to my horror in feb this year by way of letter from Fraud Investigator! Since then it has been a total nightmare, I have explained my case in two interviews under caution and am more than prepared to pay back monies overpaid. The position as it stand at the moment is I am awaiting the DWP's solicitors to decide my fate, I know that there was no criminal intent, I was simply unaware of the rules and horrified by the situation I find myself in. I just hope they see it for what it is. My health has suffered as a result I have now been put on medication for the stress it is causing. I would love to hear from people going through, or have been through similar and hear how the system has treated you.
    :-(

  2. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by chocobas at Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:49 pm

    Hi I haven't but I do no if u have a part time job u can still get carers allowance cos I do I jus have to make sure I dnt earn over 100 pound per week nd I have to ring the carers allowance wvery mnth wen I get paid to inv
    Form them!

  3. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by very worried sarah at Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:59 am

    Thanks for that chocobas, I now know that I can earn 100 a week unfortunately I was slightly over that anything between £6 -£11.My case is slightly complicated by the fact I only work 39 weeks of the year! It's a huge mess believe me, if only I had known the facts and that there was an earning limit none of this would of happened and I wouldn't be filled with dread every waking hour!

    But thanks for taking the time to reply it is really appreciated.

  4. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by Michy at Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:40 pm

    Hi, when I called DWP carers unit to inform them I was working - sessional work. I was told that as long as you earn less than £100 a week AFTER deductions like National Insurance and pension and a few other deductions - check the website for more details, you can still receive Carers Allowance so it would be very interesting to see if the extra £6 - £11 you were earning was before the acceptable deductions etc. If it was after the deductions, then that would mean you were not entitled to receive the CA.
    Hope this helps? :-)

  5. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by very worried sarah at Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:52 pm

    Thank you :-)
    I have worked out the year they are refering too which is 2008 and if they allowed my expenses which they won't consider I would of only earn't 86.00 a wk! well under the limit even for then!!! I have argued and argued that they are legit expenses as if I was sat on my bum at home I would not have had incurred those costs, they are essential for me to carryout my role. Hey ho! 2009 I agree with them that I was over the limit but there seems to be no middle ground.

    Anyone out there work for a school and only get paid for 39 weeks a year - how do you sort CA out for the other 13 weeks? Would love to have some feedback on that to help with my appeal.

    Thanks everyone

  6. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by swissmiss at Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:36 pm

    Ring up the Benefits Enquiry line and ask them the question. I know they average variable earnings over 5 weeks but where you regularly work 39 weeks in term time - which is predictable income, I cannot see why they shouldn't average it over the year. After all you are not going to be doing the job in school holidays. It is net after deductions for tax, NI and half of any pension contributions you make - some people deliberately put double the amount which takes them over into a pension rather than lose their CA. You can also deduct the following:
    * The first £20 of any income for renting out rooms in your own home.
    * Foster care allowance from a local authority.
    * Payments made to someone (other than a close relative) to look after the severely disabled person you normally care for while you're at work (up to half your net earnings can be ignored this way).
    * Payments made to someone (other than a close relative) to look after your child (or children) under 16 while you're at work. (Up to half your net earnings can be ignored this way.)

  7. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by swissmiss at Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:49 pm

    Disability Rights handbook states allowable expenses Sarah as equipment, special clothing and travel between workplaces but not travel between home and work!
    It also says " If earnings fluctuate, they may be averaged over a recognisable cycle of work or over 5 weeks, but this is discretionary".
    Someone else in here must work in schools in term time and know the answer??? :-)

  8. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by justanothercarer at Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:58 pm

    Sarah, I would leave this for a solicitor to work out – it’s what they get paid for. Its complex at best but being an ancillary school worker only further complicates it.

    If you really want to do the leg work yourself (advise against) then have a look at this.

    Find on DWP website the DWP decision makers guide. Go to volume 3, chapter 15 (earnings) and what is in here is how they work out earnings as they affect benefits. Sub-section 15145 looks specifically at special rules for ancillary (non-teaching staff) school staff, however be warned its often legal jargon and difficult to work out and often consists of several hundred pages. Lawyers go to law school to do this work for you and I wouldn’t bother trying to understand it. It also must be read alongside many other chapters including, CA which I think is in volume 10 (can’t remember the chapter sorry) but again will consist of several hundred pages.

    You also will have to take into account earnings and benefits for the other 13 weeks including any retention payments etc paid during the holiday period or on top of wages meant for that holiday period. It takes DWP many months to work these things out as they are so complex and I, if I was you would leave this for my solicitor to work out.

    P.S. don’t mix up your situation with any educational staff as they are treated differently to non-educational staff.

  9. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by very worried sarah at Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:39 pm

    Thanks again for sound advice. Sadly I have got to sort the appeal on the moey side of things myself as I cannot afford a solicitor to do so, as I need to reserve what very little I have incase the dwp decide there is a criminal charge to be made. So any advice on appealing the amount is gratefully received - I didn't know there was a handbook where do I get it from?
    Thanks everyone :-)

  10. Re: Anyone ben accussed of benefit fraud relating to Carers Allowance?

    Posted by justanothercarer at Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:52 pm

    DWP website - under publications. I would advise to do this with professional guidance (do you not qualify for legal aid) and in absence of money then at least a welfare specialist who will not charge. i.e from advice centres

    happy reading :-)
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