Carer's Assessment

Hi, my husband has advanced Parkinson’s and very limited mobility plus dementia and I feel I need to get a Carer’s Assessment. I am his full time carer, no help, and have never had Attendance Allowance on the basis that it would reduce my husband’s benefit so not much point. However I am wondering whether if I apply for it it would be financially beneficial to us when Social Services assess his income or would it make no difference. Also terrified of doing anything to upset the apple cart as he is still on DLA because of his age and I dread any re-assessment putting us on a PIP. Our local Parkinson’s Adviser seems to have been working out of the office" a great deal lately and is hard to contact so any advice would be gratefully received.

Hi Sue,
I have had P.D. since 2011 in addition to which I am full time carer to my wife who has M.S. I am 85 today and recently decided I should make some enquiries into preparing for our future care. I visited various care homes and whilst at one of them, I was advised to contact AgeUK to determine that my wife and I were receiving all of the benefits to which we are entitled. I consider myself to be reasonably well informed and assumed that it would be a fruitless task. Never-the-less, I contacted AgeUK who initially sent me a Leaflet listing all pf the benefits which are available. Subsequent to that, a young lady from AgeUK came to visit us to determine our circumstances. My PD is now quite advanced and I do struggle somewhat. After assessing my own condition, the young lady stated that she felt I was entitled to Attendance Allowance and that she would pursue an application on my behalf. She completed all of the forms, which I am now unable to do, and submitted them in April of this year. I am delighted to tell you that my application was successfully granted and I received my first payment this month which was backdated to April when the application was -submitted. Incidentally, Attendance Allowance is not means tested. I cannot over-emphasise the gratitude I feel to Age UK and suggest you contact them for advice. Gerrard

Hi @SueM,

I’m glad to see that you’ve already received some advice from Gerrard. We have generic information about carer’s allowance on our website which has details on how you may qualify for it. You can find this information here - https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/information-and-support/carers-allowance.

However, your situation is very specific so I would encourage you to speak to one of our advisers via our helpline for support on this. They’ll be able to advise you on the best options available to you so do give them a call on 0808 800 0303.

Best wishes,
Reah

Hi Sue. Attendance allowance (AA) and DLA are essentially the same benefit but AA is the disability benefit for claimants over 65 years of age. For those already receiving DLA when they reach 65, the benefit is usually left unchanged. Neither is means tested so they don’t reduce any other benefits you/he are receiving but a person can’t claim both AA & DLA.

As you obviously know, DLA is being replaced by PIP but that is only for people under 65 years so not necessarily relevant to your husband, it depends on his age. A carers assessment is a separate issue though and you can ask your local social services department to assess you. Unless you mean Carer’s Allowance rather than assessment, which is a benefit?

HI Sue,
If you are a full time carer for your husband, the benefit payment for that would or should be included within the DLA paid to your husband. The DWP sends you a statement every year confirming the precise benefit paid to your husband and detailing how it is composed. There is a “Care Component” and a “Mobility Component”. Ideally, you want to be receiving the “Higher Rate” for both of these components and, if not, maybe you should re-apply…In applying for “Attendance Allowance” on my own behalf, I had the same anxiety as you as my wife receives DLA and I did not wish to compromise that. However, my application was successful and my anxiety was misplaced,Referring back to my advice about contacting AgeUK, I would just point out that, in my own case, it involved much more than a 10 or 15 minute phone call. One of their advisers came to my home and spent much of the afternoon -face to face- discussing and assessing our medical and financial circumstances. In the course of our lengthy discussion, she extracted information to support my application which might not otherwise have been realised. I request copies of all correspondence which passes between my Neurologist and GP and a recent letter from my Neuro which detailed the current state of my PD was one of the main factors in the success of my application.

My understanding a out the benefit situation is that you could apply for carer’s allowance, which should be awarded on basis of your husband getting DLA. It is confusing, but attendance allowance is the over 65 version of DLA or pip. However, if you are over 65 yourself, you won’t get any actual money but it can lead to other benefits. Please do contact your local Age UK, they are experts. Also, do get in touch with Social Services and ask for assessment for your husband and yourself as his carer. There is help out there, don’t get yourself ground down.