53% Of Carers Say They Are Not Receiving Enough Support

carersallowanceOver half of the people who are proving support to those living with disabilities say they are not receiving enough support. The figures come from a recent polls that shows how one in eight British people are now carers who having decided to look after a friend of family member who is ill or disabled. This comes to an estimated 6.5 million people.

Carers UK gathered the data to raise awareness of how many British people spend their time caring after someone else during Carers Week 2014. It also suggests that as the population ages, there will be around 9 million carers in just 20 years time.

Helena Herklots from Carers UK said:

[quote]As a country, we vastly underestimate just how much caring is done. We sometimes think we are an uncaring society. Well, 6.5 million people caring suggests otherwise. All of us at some point in our lives are either going to be caring for someone or need the help of a carer, so it is in all our interests to get better support in place and to really recognise the huge contribution that carers make to our society.[/quote]

However, despite the fact that a significant proportion of the population is now a care giver, many of the people Carers UK spoke to believe they are not receiving an acceptable amount of support. 53% believe there should be more being done.

Campaigners have singled out the government’s benefit Carer’s Allowance in particular. This is financial state support that provides £61.35 per week. However, they believe that the number is too low and not enough people are being made aware that it exists. Helena Herklots from Carers UK stated that “carers deserve a better deal” from the government.

Campaign groups have also called on local authorities, charities, businesses and the NHS to provide more help to those providing care. The current lack of support, according to Carers UK, is causing physical and emotion distress on those who are providing care to people with disabilities and illnesses. It has often been a cause of exhaustion, sleep deprivation and depression.

Helena Herklots from Carers UK continued:

[quote]Carers are struggling. More carers are finding they are not getting the support that they need. Over half the carers say they are not getting enough support. If they can’t cope, it means the person they are caring for might need additional help from a health service or social services. As well as being the right thing to do to support carers, it is also economically the right thing to do.[/quote]

London Councils Ask The Government To Retain Hardship Safety Nets

If you are struggling financially, help is supposed to come from local Councils and the Government. This is known as local welfare assistance or provision. Part of this is the budgeting loan. If you have been claiming income related benefits for at least 26 weeks, you can apply for a loan to help cover the cost of your rent, clothes, furniture, hire purchase debts and more. In London, this can sometimes be provided in physical form to residents in urgent need who are going through the transition of unemployment to employment. The total sum which is allocated to London as part of this scheme is £27 million and it has been revealed today that the Government is planning to cancel it.Budgeting Loan

Until 2013, the needs of desolate citizens were looked after by the provision of crisis loans and grants as well as budgeting loans. However, this money is to disappear completely after initially being reduced, although the demand for the services is increasing. The proposed end for the funding was put into the national local Government finance settlement for 2015/16.

However, London Council is fighting back by compiling a report detailing exactly how the funding helps people. The report lists a number of imaginative schemes across the boroughs where projects have been put in place in partnership with Credit Unions to help benefits claimants to prepare for the arrival of Universal Credit, as well as help and advice on budgeting for people struggling to find work or on a low income wage. Before this scheme, over 8000 benefits claimants in London did not have bank accounts, however this number has diminished since the projects began.

 

Carer’s Allowance Contact Numbers

0843 178 4186

Call the Carers Allowance contact number on 0843 178 4186 if you need assistance with claiming for Carer’s Allowance or your payments have been stopped for any reason.

Carer’s Allowance Department Telephone Numbers

Department Contact Number Opening Hours
Customer Service 0843 178 4186 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm
Eligibility 0843 178 4187 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm
Claiming Alongside Other Benefits 0843 178 4188 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm
Payments 0843 178 4189 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm
Claims 0843 178 4190 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm
Report a Change in Circumstances 0843 178 4191 Monday-Friday: 8.30am-5.30pm

Carer’s Allowance Customer Service

carer's allowance contact number

If you currently care for someone for at least 35 hours a week, you might be entitled to claim Carer’s Allowance. You don’t have to be related to the person you care for, nor do you need to live with them. If you care for more than one person, you’ll only be able to get money for one person. If claiming Carer’s Allowance takes your personal tax allowance over, you’ll need to pay tax on it. If you have a question that relates to Carer’s Allowance, call the customer service team on 0843 178 4186. When you call , you will hear a message welcoming you to the Carer’s Allowance Unit. The automated message will inform you that if you’re waiting for an update on the status of your claim, it may take several weeks. It also informs you that it can be quicker to apply for Carer’s Allowance or report a change online. After the message, you will hear the following menu options. If you are making a claim, press 1. If you need to inform the Carer’s Allowance Office about a death, call 2. Lastly, for any other queries relating to Carer’s Allowance press 3.

Eligibility for Carer’s Allowance

In order to be eligible for Carer’s Allowance, the person that you’re caring for must receive certain benefits, such as a Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, or Attendance Allowance. You must be over the age of 16 and spend a minimum of 35 hours a week caring for someone. You can’t be in full-time education or earn more than £116 a week. If you are unsure whether you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance, call the contact number on 0843 178 4187.

Claiming Carer’s Allowance with Other Benefits

Claiming Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and the person that you’re caring for can get. When you claim, the person that you’re caring for will stop getting the severe disability premium with their payments and reduced Council Tax. Your benefits might be reduced, but they’ll usually increase or stay the same when you claim Carer’s Allowance. If you’re worried about the effect of claiming Carer’s Allowance, call the Carer’s Allowance Unit on 0843 178 4188.

Payments

As a recipient of Carer’s Allowance, you can choose when you’d like to be paid. You can choose a time frame of every 4 weeks, every 13 weeks or weekly in advance. The payment is made to your bank account. If a payment has been delayed or you didn’t receive as much as you were expecting, contact the Carer’s Allowance Office on 0843 178 4189.

Claims

Before you apply for Carer’s Allowance, you will need to have certain information to hand. This includes your National Insurance number, your bank details, information about your employment, a P45 if you have recently left work, or details of a course if you’re studying. You will also need to provide information about the person that you’re caring for, such as their date of birth and National Insurance number. You can claim for Carer’s Allowance online. You can’t apply by phone, but if you need support with making your application, call 0843 178 4190. If you need additional help with providing for children, you may be entitled to child benefit.

Changes in Circumstance

If you are currently claiming Carer’s Allowance, you must report certain changes in your circumstances. This can include getting a job, or if you stop providing care. If you only stop providing care on a temporary basis, you might still be able to claim Carer’s Allowance. For assistance with this, call 0843 178 4191.

Other Ways to Contact the Carer’s Allowance Office:

You can apply online for Carer’s Allowance by filling in an online form.

You can also apply by post using the application at the bottom of this form.

Campaigners Push To Raise State Pension To £175 Per Week

Earlier this month, campaigners presented their case for the UK State Pension to be increased to £175 per week, at the Pensioners’pensions-credit-uk Parliament in Blackpool.

The three-day event gave campaigners a chance to voice their concerns over the current quality of life for older people living in Great Britain. The proposal that the State Pension be raised to £175 per week was just one of the key issues raised by the campaign group, the National Pensioners Convention.

At the moment, the basic State Pension rests at just £113.10 per week, which the Convention says is not enough to support individuals in later life.

They claim that £175 per week is the minimum income needed to live above the poverty line.

[quote]“The UK is not an easy place to be for many older people right now.

“Despite what some people say, pensioners have not escaped the Government’s austerity programme.”[/quote]

They went on to point out that cuts to the winter fuel allowance; rationing of care services; changes to the way pensions are uprated annually and the government’s freeze on tax allowances are all beginning to “take their toll” on the retired and the elderly.

This is all happening as the cost of living rapidly rises, creating a hazardous environment for retirees to enjoy later life. The Convention summed up the UK state pension system as “one of the worst in Europe”.

In light of the current chokeholds on pensions, new research revealed that more than 70 percent of people are likely to continue working past the State Pension age in order to boost their pensions. The study was carried out by Metlife and included an analysis from former pensions adviser Ros Altmann. Altmann surmised that working one full extra year, plus two more years part-time, could boost one’s pension fund by 11 percent.

However, the study also showed that only 20 percent of workers believe they are saving enough for retirement, whilst 41 percent do not understand retirement savings following George Osbourne’s decision to scrap the need to buy an annuity.

On a better note, it was revealed that 24 percent of workers (7.3 million) plan to start saving or increase their pension contributions in light of the new changes.

Ros Altmann stated that a ‘national wealth service’ should be established in order to help savers understand the new pension system and make adequate plans for their retirement. She is also urging the government to put new rules in place that compel ‘non-advice’ services to disclose their charges upfront.

Self-Employed Helpline

0843 178 4180 

If you currently work for yourself or you have decided to take that career path, you may need to speak to someone at HMRC who can guide you through the process. To get advice, call 0843 178 4180

Self Employed Helpline Telephone Numbers

Department Contact Number Opening Times
Self Employment Head Office  

0843 178 4180

 

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Self Employment Helpline 0843 178 4181 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Tax & NI 0843 178 4182 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Changes of Circumstances 0843 178 4183 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Construction Industry Scheme 0843 178 4184 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Self Employed Benefits 0843 178 4185 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday
Registering 0843 178 4182 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm, Saturday

Self Employment Head Office – 0843 178 4180

You can contact the Self Employment Head Office on 0843 178 4180 about a number of things including registering a new business for tax and NI, reporting the closure or sale of a business, stopping your self-employment status, getting your UTR, completing a tax return, authorising an accountant to act on your behalf, claiming an NI refund, help starting a business, VAT and the construction industry scheme. You can also find the numbers to some of these specific departments and helplines below or in the table above.

Self Employment  Helpline – 0843 178 4181

self employed helpline

The self-employment helpline will be able to help you with a number of things, including any problems you’re having or help to understand what self-employment means for you, your tax and your income. The HMRC can also support you whilst you write up a business plan as well as guiding you through the process of registration, finding finance and choosing a legal structure. To access this help please call 0843 178 4181 to speak to a member of the self-employment helpline team.

Tax & NI – 0843 178 4182

If you’re self-employed and you need some help regarding tax and NI you can call  to speak to someone who will be able to offer you some advice and guidance. If you’re newly self-employed or you have just started a business you will need a UTR number, your UTR number is 10 digits long and is unique to you or your business. You will receive your UTR when you initially register for self-employment. You will need to use your UTR when you are submitting your tax returns and if you have an accountant they will definitely need it. If you have lost or did not receive your UTR please call to speak to a member of the tax team who will be able to retrieve your UTR for you. If you are self-employed, you must complete a Self Assessment tax return for any tax year during which you were self-employed. If you have some questions about your Self Assessment tax return or you need help completing it call If you’re interested in hiring an accountant to manage your tax and income you need to inform the HMRC about this as the HMRC is strict on confidentiality, which means that they need your permission before they can liaise with an accountant on your behalf. This permission must be written using form 64-8. To request this form to be delivered to you or if you need help completing the form please call 0843 178 4182. Whether you are self-employed or employed, there is a limit to how much National Insurance contributions you need to pay. You can claim the money back if you wrongly pay. To claim this money back call 0843 178 4182 to discuss your NI payments and to find out if you have overpaid your NI, if you have they will walk you through the process of claiming it back.

Changes of Circumstances – 0843 178 4183

It is important to let HMRC know as soon as possible that you intend to stop trading or close your business, so they can help to get your tax and National Insurance in order. You can do this using an online form or by calling 0843 178 4183 to speak to a member of the HMRC who will be able to fill out this form with you. If you make the decision to become employed after registering as Self-Employed, you must inform HMRC of this change. To do this, you must fill out a Cease Trading Form or call 0843 178 4183. Once this is done, you will be officially unemployed and HMRC will cut your Class 2 National Insurance Contributions. You must also send off your last Self Assessment form to declare your last earnings as a Self Employed agent. You must also cancel any VAT registration that you have made, and cancel your PAYE scheme before informing HMRC that you no longer employ anyone in your business. To find out more about doing this please call 0843 178 4183.

Construction Industry Scheme – 0843 178 4184

The Construction Industry Scheme sets out rules for how payments to subcontractors for construction work must be handled by contractors within the industry. Contractors have to deduct money from subcontractor’s payments to give to HMRC, these deductions are classed as advanced payments for the subcontractor’s tax and NI. If you are a contractor you must register, you don’t have to register if you are a subcontractor but be aware that the deductions are higher if you are not registered, to register call  and a member of the CIS team will help to walk you through the registering process.

Benefits – 0843 178 4185

Anyone who is Self-Employed is entitled to a State Pension, just as any other employed individuals. Class 2 National Insurance Contributions are treated the same as employee contributions. If you apply for a State Pension, you will receive £155.65 a week. To find out more about your pension if you’re unemployed call If you’re Self-Employed you are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. However, you can claim Employment and Support Allowance. This benefit helps if you’re ill or disabled and effects your ability to work. You can apply for this benefit if you’re below the State Pension age of 65, not getting SSP or MA, and are not receiving Jobseekers Allowance. With ESA you can receive up to £109.30 a week, depending on how you are processed by HMRC and what bracket you are put into. To find this out and apply for ESA, call 0843 178 4185 for more information. To find out if registering for self-employment effects your current benefits please call 0843 178 4185 to speak to someone about the benefits you receive now.

Registering – 0843 178 4182

You can register a new business online through the HMRC website or by calling 0843 178 4182. This allows you to register for the following taxes: Self Assessment, Corporation Tax, PAYE for employers and VAT. You can also register for Self-Employed if you have had a newborn. The process is no different to those without children. However, if you do have children and are registered as Self-Employed, you may qualify for Maternity Allowance. There are many pros and cons to becoming Self Employed. You can be your own boss, have a claim on your own success and profits, you can claim tax relief on transport throughout the UK, and have the greater freedom of working from home. However, there are also some cons. You have to make your own contributions to your pension fund, you cannot receive Statutory Sick Pay if you are unwell, you won’t be paid if you take a holiday, and you will be responsible for any losses to your company. If you’re considering registering as Self-Employed, call 0843 178 4182 to speak with a qualified advisor about making the decision to become self-employed.

Self-Employed Head Office Address

Department Address
Self-employed HM Revenue & Customs
Self Assessment
BX9 1AS
United Kingdom