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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Covid-19: Welfare benefit issues  →  Thread

Carers Allowance - Self employed income rules. Carer Allowance using pre lockdown earnings can this be challenged as unfair?

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Total Posts: 367

Joined: 14 February 2017

Client self employed teacher at schools. She is also part employed doing the same job so has mixed self employed/employed income. She therefore gets paid CA intermittently depending on her fluctuating earnings and the calculations the DWP make.

For her self employed income, CA use her previous years earnings to calculate her average in regards to the weekly earnings limit. E.g. in Sept 2020 they used Sept 2019.

Client hasn’t been working during schools being closed through lockdown so her income is under the threshold, She asked CA to use recent figures but they refused. They said next year they can use this year’s figures. However her daughter, who she cares for, is going to Uni so by then and she will not be doing 35 hours care per week.

This seems unfair to me as she is losing out just because CA work a year in arrears. She is under the earnings limit but is being treated as over because she is self employed.

Any avenue to challenge this?

Also quick bonus question so I don’t have to start two threads -

When her daughter goes to Uni can she keep her CA claim alive and in payment during holiday periods when her daughter is home and she is doing 35 hours care again? Obviously the breaks are too long to come under the break in caring rules but if the claim could stay open but not in payment that would be convenient.

Thanks!

Gareth Morgan
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CEO, Ferret, Cardiff

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Looking at the Social Security Benefit (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 1996, in regulation 11:-
“11.—(1) Except where paragraph (2) applies, where a claimant’s earnings consist of earnings from employment as a self-employed earner the weekly amount of his earnings shall be determined by reference to his average weekly earnings from that employment—
(a)over a period of one year; or
(b)where the claimant has recently become engaged in that employment or there has been a change which is likely to affect the normal pattern of business, over such other period as may, in any particular case, enable the weekly amount of his earnings to be determined more accurately.”

You might want to point them to “or there has been a change which is likely to affect the normal pattern of business”.

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Total Posts: 367

Joined: 14 February 2017

That’s helpful, thanks Gareth