Not only increase Carers Allowance by £20 per week, which is long overdue, but alter other aspects for below are the current conditions
The type of care you provide
You need to spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone. This can include:
helping with washing and cooking
taking the person you care for to a doctor’s appointment
helping with household tasks, like managing bills and shopping
If you or the person you care for are affected by coronavirus, you can still claim Carer’s Allowance if you provide care remotely. This includes giving emotional support over the phone or online.
All of the following must apply:
you’re 16 or over
you spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone
you’ve been in England, Scotland or Wales for at least 2 of the last 3 years (this does not apply if you’re a refugee or have humanitarian protection status)
you normally live in England, Scotland or Wales, or you live abroad as a member of the armed forces (you might still be eligible if you’re moving to or already living in an EEA country or Switzerland)
you’re not in full-time education
you’re not studying for 21 hours a week or more
you’re not subject to immigration control
your earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses
If your earnings are sometimes more than £128 a week you might still be eligible for Carer’s Allowance. Your average earnings may be calculated to work out if you’re eligible.
Calculating your earnings
Your earnings are any income from employment and self-employment after tax, National Insurance and expenses.
Expenses can include:
50% of your pension contributions
equipment you need to do your job, for example specialist clothing
travel costs between different workplaces that are not paid for by your employer, for example fuel or train fares
business costs if you’re self-employed, for example a computer you only use for work
If you pay a carer to look after the disabled person or your children while you work, you can treat care costs that are less than or equal to 50% of your earnings as an expense. The carer must not be your spouse, partner, parent, child or sibling.
You earn £100 a week (after tax, National Insurance and other expenses) and spend £60 a week on care while you work. You can treat £50 of this as an expense.
Payments that do not count as earnings include:
money received from an occupational or private pension
contributions towards your living or accommodation costs from someone you live with (they cannot be a tenant or boarder)
the first £20 a week and 50% of the rest of any income you make from someone boarding in your home
a loan or advance payment from your employer
If you get State Pension
You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.
If your pension is £67.25 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment.
If your pension is less than £67.25 a week, you’ll get a Carer’s Allowance payment to make up the difference.
If you get Pension Credit
If your State Pension is more than £67.25 a week, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment but your Pension Credit payments will increase instead.
If you’ve deferred your State Pension, the income you would get from it is included when working out if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance.
So what needs changing
your earnings are £128 or less a week after tax, National Insurance and expenses – should be changed so that the £128 is made equivalent to the National Living Wage
You cannot get the full amount of both Carer’s Allowance and your State Pension at the same time.
If your pension is £67.25 a week or more, you will not get a Carer’s Allowance payment. – this again should be matching the National Living Wage
This would mean the Carers Allowance would be a more substantial benefit available to many more carers.
I agree, unfortunately caring and carers with regards to Social Care does not get a good press and the Governments attitude to Social Care goes a long way to put social Care in not a good light.
But for those who have a need for Social Care it is a very important lifeline.
As to doing your duty being treated as exceptional, well unfortunately this appears to be so as there are so many examples of bad care and in some instances very bad care.
Winterbourne was mentioned and even if this was the exception, then that would be bad, but it is not the exception, for bad care happens daily.
But a lot of it goes unreported as those in need of care and their family are scared of losing the care they have, no matter how bad it is.
I facilitate a Learning Disability Carers group and when the carers are talking I heard some instances of bad care, but they do not wish to allow me to take it further as they have been advised that the care would be withdrawn if they do, leaving them with no care at all.
I am a carers representative on our local Learning Disabilities Partnership Board and I have request a presentation from the Council run inspection teak, who should be inspecting Care Providers, for I believe they are not looking deeply enough into actual care delivery.
As to the CQC, I feel they spend to much time on looking at records, for anything can be written down, which may or may not mirror the actual care delivery.
So, I will start with the local council team and then ask for the CQC to present.
Care is in crisis for a large number of reasons, of which funding is a major concern.
For social Care has never been sufficiently funded from 1970, when it was brought under the control of local Authorities, and well before 1970. Then we had 10 years of austerity and now COVID-19 making the crisis even worse.
The reference to 1970 was when Social Care when brought under the control of Local Authorities (LAs) for before that it was a ‘mishmash’ of sources. Some LAs, but others included Charities, voluntary organisations, health and many others.
But as well as Funding there is
poor working conditions
lack of training and skills
To many people caring is seen as an unskilled profession, well, if it is done badly then it is, but to provide good quality care is is far from it.
For, as we all are, persons in need of care are individuals and not objects, for they have feelings, they have choices, may need emotional support, routine to be followed, knowledge of a persons conditions, such as dementia, learning disabilities, autism and many others and in most cases a mixture of conditions.
So, in caring you can not, or should not, assume that caring for one person will be exactly the same as the next one and could need to change on a daily basis, or even more frequently.
So, it is a very skilled profession, for which the salary is nowhere sufficient, as caring has been left so short for far too long. Government promises have been broken so many times and social care has been left to sink, well sinking is not infinite and will come to a base from which it will not recover.
That base is very near and in some instances has been reached.
Action was urgently required, yesterday and certainly today, for tomorrow could well be too late.
Support for my petition, Solve the crisis in Social Care,
In late July 2019, I tweeted asking families with autistic or learning disabled children to share their experience of “sparkling” actions by health and social care professionals. I was writing a book about how professionals could make a difference in the lives of children and their families, and the manuscript was woefully negative.
The tweets started appearing and the thread grew across the next few weeks. They included extraordinary examples of what I came to call “pockets of brilliance”. An administrator who included pug memes in the appointment letters for a dog-loving young patient. Professionals who were prepared to sit on the stairs so a child could stay in their bedroom during a visit. The GP who told one mother: “I don’t know very much about autism, but I promise you that I will do all I can to learn.” Another GP who rang a mother in the evening after…
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Care services must now be nationalised, says John McDonnell. The former shadow chancellor will set out his vision for a post-Covid-19 economy on Wednesday
Source: Care services must now be nationalised, says John McDonnell : Yahoo! News
Researchers from King’s Business School have published a paper urgently calling for a new deal for health and care employees that acknowledges and reflects their worth to our individual and communal well-being that has been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper says that the sector needs a new model of employment relations, characterised as fair care work, to tackle the challenges exposed by the crisis.
More than 600 people a day are having to give up working to provide care for older and disabled relatives, leading to calls for the government and UK employers to increase support for family carers.
Research by the charity Carers UK found that 2.6 million have quit their job to care for a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill, with nearly half a million (468,000) leaving their job in the last two years alone – more than 600 people a day.
The startling figure represents a 13% increase since Carers UK and pollsters at YouGov surveyed members of the general public in 2013.
According to the findings, more working people are providing unpaid care for loved-ones than previously thought, with almost 5 million adults in the UK forced to juggle between their work and caring for family members.
Source: More than 600 people quit work every day to care for older and disabled relatives : Welfare Weekly
Unfortunately many people are ignorant of issues around disability, as they see the disability, but not the person.
They believe they are caring, but have no understanding of how care should be offered.
No one should assume that care is required, without contacting the person concerned. Just because a person has a disability does not mean their feelings and other senses are disabled also.
Everybody, no matter who they are wish to retain their own independence and therefore everyone should be respectful of others.
Before you act, think and consider how to proceed for no one should touch another without the expressed permission of that persons. This is also extended to any aids or adaptions that the person may have.
It is assault to make contact with a person without their permission and the act of touching a persons wheelchair or any other items of theirs is also assault, which is deemed a criminal act or should be as it is abuse
Do not ignore people, but treat them as you, yourself would wish to be treated, for you do not know the person like they know themselves.
The act of touching is further compounded when they are telling you not to do what you have done without their expressed permission.
They are not in the wrong, you are.
Ignorance is never any excuse.
A tweet by a woman detailing how a stranger took control of her wheelchair has prompted other people to share similar stories and support.
In the tweet Bronwyn Berg recounts how passers-by didn’t intervene despite her “screaming for help”.
Many wheelchair users identified with the “horrifying” tweet, and were moved to share their experiences.
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It’s leaflets at the moment. If my son sees any, in a cafe for instance, he wants them all. Later he will want to go through them and then destroy each one, tearing them into tiny pieces. We’ve got him down to a maximum of three. This is progress. When he lived at home, it was books – each one to be looked through swiftly, then reshelved on the other side of the room. If we went outside, every item on display in the two village shops had to be named three times. I stopped going outside. I stopped trying to speak to anyone on the phone, because my son knew that if he stood next to me and shrieked like an agonised seagull no one could hear a thing.
I have spent a large part of my life as a carer for my son, whom I shall call Huw (he is now a vulnerable adult) who has severe autism and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). I was helped for part of that time by my daughter, Rhiannon. There are around 7 million carers in the UK – that’s one in 10 people – and that doesn’t include parents whose children aren’t sick or disabled. So many carers’ stories go untold. Why? Probably because it’s exhausting, especially if lack of sleep is part of the picture (typical in cases of autism). It may be because unaffected people feel uncomfortable thinking about it, but it’s possible that they just don’t think about it, full stop – because our stories aren’t out there. And yet it’s possible we will all be carers at some point.
Many people will find, at some stage in their life, that they will need to assume responsibility for someone who cannot care for themselves. Caring is a vital part of our society, and for most people it cannot be outsourced to an expensive nursing home or private staff.
Yet caring remains undervalued. A catchphrase from the Thatcher era, seeking to justify the destruction of many social support systems, was that “spoon-feeding only teaches the shape of the spoon”. This ignores the fact that people from babyhood to frail old age often do actually need to be spoon-fed. By insisting that society did not exist, the Tories set in motion a pretence that such needs do not exist, and the people who cater for them were not worthy of recognition, beyond some vague adulation of “family values”.
Caring can either break you or make you a stronger, wiser person. Many people, most of them women, can be broken by the burdens they have had to take on, now that society has largely turned its back on their needs as support systems for sick and disabled people and their families have been further dismantled.
Nearly 8 million family carers in the UK are “propping up the care system” by providing unpaid care for relatives and other loved-ones, whilst also paying a significant personal and financial price for the care they provide, according to a new report from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) think tank.
Research has calculated that around 7.6 million adults are giving up their time to provide unpaid care for relatives, up 1 million since 2005 and equal to almost 15% of adults living in the UK.
In their report published on Monday, the SMF says the proportion of family carers providing 20 or more hours of unpaid care each week has increased from 24% in 2005 to reach 28% in 2015, with family carers providing an average 19.5 hours of unpaid care each week.
In total, family carers are sacrificing 149 million hours to care for loved-ones every week, equal to 4 million paid care-givers working full-time hours.
However, this level of unselfishness can have a devastating impact on the carers’ health and work prospects, with family carers less likely to be in employment than non-carers and more likely to earn far less.
I remember the dawning of my green consciousness: the sudden, painful realisation that products were tested on animals. This was in the early 1970s. I was about 10 years old. A teacher told me that baby powder was put into the eyes of cats and dogs to make sure it was safe. She also said that the plastic container would pollute the Earth.
A few years later, as punk sensibility captured my naturally rebellious heart, I immersed myself in the ecological fight. I joined Greenpeace. I wrote letters – even to the pope on his visit to Britain – arguing against the clubbing of baby seals in Canada. This passion has never left me.
Throw into the mix that I’ve been disabled since the age of 14, however, and environmentalism can start to get tricky. Over the years, I’ve had to learn that being green does not always sit comfortably with my access needs.
I also was not aware that today was World Aids Day and it is good to have a day to emphasise that we should be treating people with dignity and respect and that we should be caring about real people and to fight Aids.
However, as we are all aware we should be doing this, not just for one day per year, but for all the 365 days each year. In doing so the World will become a better place for all concerned and we will be able to all live in harmony.
Let’s all have a good day and endeavour to eliminate discrimination.