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"Boarders" Carers allowance...long delays (always)

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forgoodnesssake
forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
I have claimed CA since my son got DLA at aged 2 or 3 (can't remember as he's now 22!)  Once he started Uni, living away from home, in September 2017 I did the honest thing and told them.  So I was then put on the "boarders" system, which is basically an intermittent claim for when he is at home and I meet the criteria.  They send a form to fill in telling them when care started and stopped and then you submit it, and wait, and wait and wait.  Currently (12th April) I am still waiting for 3 weeks money form the Xmas vacation (basically December and first 3 days of Jan). 
Luckily we can manage ....but what about people who absolutely rely on that money?  I can't work even when he is away from home as I co-ordinate all his support and manage his DPs, appointments etc for him as well as racing over to his city of study on occasion when needed.
Now that we are in the current Covid situation he has been sent home, almost certainly til at least late September and currently we have no support at all (we have some funding but cannot employ at the moment for a range of reasons) 
So I have used the DWP CA online form to tell them that I want to come off the boarders and get CA on an ongoing basis until Uni restarts, whenever that is!  But i am not holding my breath that this will get actioned any time soon.....
The system is so stacked against claimants that it is no wonder sometimes people are less than truthful...cos they know that if they dip in and out they may well be left penniless for months.
Surely there is a better way to do this?
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,112 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi, all areas of the DWP have big problems atm, under staffed anyway, staff off sick and record numbers of applications for all sorts of benefits.

    2024 Election won

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Yes I can appreciate that, however the issues with long long waits for CA are nothing to do with the current situation; they are systemic and longstanding.  I have been told on more than one occasion by DWP staff (very apologetically) that there are very few indeed people assessing CA claims and so they stack up at the best of times, so goodness knows how long they are taking atm!  Family/non-employed carers save this country millions but we are bottom of the heap when it comes to it.  At the moment more than ever before...

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Maybe a bit longer.. But 3 months? It has always been at least that long. I'd like to share your optimism about how easy a change to weekly from intermittent would normally be, but unfortunately nothing in my past experience gives me confidence. We'll see.
  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Still waiting!  Rang them 3 weeks ago to chase and was told it was with the "decision maker"  This happens every time but I think December to at least May is a record...
  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Things are not perfect at present?  My point is that there has ALWAYS been huge issue with this...and TBH Carers allowance has always been a really poor relation and carers are particularly off the radar at the moment!!  I agree that people with nil income need help and quickly but many many parent carers that I know (and I don't mean just of children under 18...I mean of signficantly disabled adult children) are at the end of their tethers in all respects having had 8 weeks or more with absolutely no outside help at all and with no end in sight;  getting, if they are lucky, CA which amounts to £1.90 per hour if you do only the qualifying 35 hours but actually more like 39p per hour if you are on duty 24/7, which many of us are.  And to add insult to injury CA is virtually the only means tested benefit that brings NO other exemptions (such as free prescriptions or dental treatment) which seems to be something many people do not realise.  This shouldn't be a "them or us" situation in terms of who's lucky enough to get what they need and are entitled to from the DWP, and the fact that it clearly is at the moment just demonstrates how bad the system had already got.

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
    edited May 2020
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    You seem to interpret "we can manage" as "we are rolling in cash"!  Not the case at all and I am quite happy to, as you put it, take up arms on behalf of others but it is also on behalf of us. 
    I think it is pretty obvious what the most immediate and straightforward, at least partial, solution is and that is to resource the CA department of DWP properly so that people don't have to wait months for every decision!  Obviously in the current covid situation things are rather different so I am talking about "normal" times.
    I do take your point about it not technically being a means tested benefit; it is a taxable, income based benefit.  (But i would  argue that if you've got £1m in the bank you would lose all the CA and a lot more in tax!!) so I accept that you may well be correct about it being a possible trigger, depending on other circumstances, for other benefits.
    However you say
    "Thirdly, outside of the above, being a vulnerable person can trigger help via the priority services register of utility companies. There is the right to a carers assessment; a carers personal budget and of course the Carers Credit; Blue Badges, CEA cards and many more."
    A carer is not "technically" classed as a vulnerable person in many circumstances and getting CA has no bearing on getting a Carers Assessment or personal budget.  Similarly a carer is not entitled to a blue badge or a CAE card in their own right.  They are for the PIP or DLA claimant that the carer gets CA for.  Apologies if that is what you meant.  But this conversation is about CA and being a carer; not being the disabled person.

  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
    edited May 2020
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    No point in continuing this as I am finding your responses to be rather rude actually.  I am sure you are correct on some points but not all.
  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Well you accused me of point scoring for the sake of it, among other things, but I actually think you were in danger of misleading people about the CAE cards and Carers assessments etc.  However possibly just the way it was worded and I have already agreed about CA not being a means tested benefit in the accepted sense. 
    However my point about millions in the bank clearly said that CA would be lost in tax, supposing that there was taxable interest on the millions.  I did not say that the capital alone would lose you the CA.
    Also I do not know what you mean about my son's university possibly holding up the process?  They are not involved at all and I can't see how they ever would be in my claim for CA, which does not require me to tell the DWP exactly where he is, only that he is not at home.
    The only unacceptable delays are caused by the very long wait to get the cases/applications looked at because there are only one or two staff doing it: I have been told that more than once by DWP personnel on the the phone.
    And I was not necessarily expecting "answers" (I would look elsewhere, or at least try to since as you say yourself, it is a specialist area) I was more exploring whether other people have had this problem too.  And I assume that anyone getting CA on an intermittent basis (ie if their child is at residential school, or at college etc) might be in the same boat.  However thank you for your responses.
  • Si_Obhan
    Si_Obhan Community member Posts: 34 Courageous
    edited May 2020
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  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 8,403 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi@forgoodnesssake, Sorry to hear youv had such a long wait and I understand COVID is holding things up but in reality it always seems to take forever when claiming any type of benefit,  anyway hope you get word soon take care.
  • forgoodnesssake
    forgoodnesssake Community member Posts: 513 Pioneering
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    Eventually came through on 1st June...
  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 8,403 Disability Gamechanger
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    @forgoodnesssake.  Oh so glad youv eventually got it sorted, I hope your well take care. 
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