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  • FIRST POST
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 7th Mar 18, 9:49 AM
    • 431Posts
    • 427Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Social care money included as income/savings
    • #1
    • 7th Mar 18, 9:49 AM
    Social care money included as income/savings 7th Mar 18 at 9:49 AM
    Hello All

    I receive money from the council (Direct payment) to pay for a PA/Carer for a few hours a day. I was told to open a separate bank account and that the money can only be used for employing a PA/Carer.

    Together we receive about £35 Income support a week on top of PIP/ESA/Small pension/Carers allowance and council tax help.

    I have always declared everything. When asked for bank statement I include the DP one but write on it this is money from Social services and not mine to spend. It is only for Care plan. This has never ever been queried or counted as our income/savings.

    When we claimed IS it was the last day before UC (by chance) and after the phone call we had to go to job centre in town that afternoon with statements, my ill health pension, and ESA/PIP forms. I had the DP statement with me and offered it to the advisor. I was told it didn't count.

    The chap on the phone yesterday didn't seem to know about Social care/Direct payment accounts and kept asking the same questions about it, did we declare, do we know it puts us over savings limit etc.. etc. He put us on hold and spoke to his supervisor. My husband took the call and answered everything honestly. The interviewer is convinced it counts as income and we have done something wrong.

    The man was even asking if we'd declared my Pension.. I have our application form and can see it clearly typed in.

    I am of course now an anxious wreck. We are waiting on a letter asking for paperwork which will go back by next post. I struggle with anxiety as i've been ill so long the world fees pretty scary. I am also constantly terrified of breaking rules, its just not something I do. I know we were truthful and honest but he's know made me worry he even said to hold onto the form we signed as its our saving grace..as if we've done something wrong and need a get out clause.

    OK I've rambled.. but can anyone reassure me please that money from the council for Social care does not count as income. I've got in a state and can't find the info. I was told it wasn't my money and that the council can take any left back at any point, that I can only use if for my team of pa/carers etc . but well I'm a wreck.

    Thank you
    Last edited by Cyclamen; 07-03-2018 at 9:49 AM. Reason: Forgot my manners in panic.
Page 1
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 7th Mar 18, 12:07 PM
    • 2,595 Posts
    • 2,564 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:07 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:07 PM
    Hello All

    I receive money from the council (Direct payment) to pay for a PA/Carer for a few hours a day. I was told to open a separate bank account and that the money can only be used for employing a PA/Carer.

    Together we receive about £35 Income support a week on top of PIP/ESA/Small pension/Carers allowance and council tax help.

    I have always declared everything. When asked for bank statement I include the DP one but write on it this is money from Social services and not mine to spend. It is only for Care plan. This has never ever been queried or counted as our income/savings.

    When we claimed IS it was the last day before UC (by chance) and after the phone call we had to go to job centre in town that afternoon with statements, my ill health pension, and ESA/PIP forms. I had the DP statement with me and offered it to the advisor. I was told it didn't count.

    The chap on the phone yesterday didn't seem to know about Social care/Direct payment accounts and kept asking the same questions about it, did we declare, do we know it puts us over savings limit etc.. etc. He put us on hold and spoke to his supervisor. My husband took the call and answered everything honestly. The interviewer is convinced it counts as income and we have done something wrong.

    The man was even asking if we'd declared my Pension.. I have our application form and can see it clearly typed in.

    I am of course now an anxious wreck. We are waiting on a letter asking for paperwork which will go back by next post. I struggle with anxiety as i've been ill so long the world fees pretty scary. I am also constantly terrified of breaking rules, its just not something I do. I know we were truthful and honest but he's know made me worry he even said to hold onto the form we signed as its our saving grace..as if we've done something wrong and need a get out clause.

    OK I've rambled.. but can anyone reassure me please that money from the council for Social care does not count as income. I've got in a state and can't find the info. I was told it wasn't my money and that the council can take any left back at any point, that I can only use if for my team of pa/carers etc . but well I'm a wreck.

    Thank you
    Originally posted by Cyclamen
    Taken from Carers UK website.
    Will getting a direct payment affect any benefits that I or the person I am looking after receives?

    Direct payments that you are given as a carer to purchase services to meet your needs as a carer are not counted as ‘income’ for any benefits you receive, and so would not affect any of your benefits.
    Link for website.
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=73987064
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:19 PM
    Thanks POppy

    That is for the DP that a carer can recieve to make their caring role easier. This is my DP for me to buy hours of help.

    I couldn't find a quote for the 'service users' DP.. but have been told the same thing.

    As I said just an anxious mess
    • Ames
    • By Ames 7th Mar 18, 12:32 PM
    • 17,243 Posts
    • 30,370 Thanks
    Ames
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:32 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:32 PM
    It's not counted as income, in fact it's the other way round - your benefits are counted as income for the direct payments.

    Is it paid into a separate account?

    DWP call centre staff aren't the most knowledgable about benefits, they tend to know the basic info and 'all income counts' is probably about as in depth as they've been trained in. When it comes across the desk of whoever looks at the case they should know what they're doing.

    With regards the pension, you have proof you put it on the application but is it mentioned in the letter you had where they show how they work out your entitlement? It's possible they made a mistake and missed it.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 7th Mar 18, 12:49 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:49 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Mar 18, 12:49 PM
    Hi Ames... yes my benefits have been used to assess how much I pay for my DP. I have a standing order each week for my contribution labelled as such so it will be clear on my statements.

    There is a separate account; I have three accounts labelled main, savings and DP. The money going out of the DP account is labelled as 'agency name' (when i used an agency) and 'pa name care' for my team along with HMRC.. no other payments are made. Going in is Council name and My name contributions.. so it should all check out .

    We actually had a new letter for IS today with new rates and my pension is clearly listed on the calculations page. It is also on the original letter we had which. So I am unsure what his issue was.

    My DP has quite a big sum of money in it as we have had a really hard time recruiting because of the times i need help, and actually had about 6 weeks where I only used a fifth of my hours as the agency treated me so badly and I needed a break so my husband and family took over. I've tried to ask council to take back but they haven't. It puts us over the £6000 if they count it but it really isn't money I can spend.
    Last edited by Cyclamen; 07-03-2018 at 12:52 PM.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 7th Mar 18, 1:02 PM
    • 17,243 Posts
    • 30,370 Thanks
    Ames
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:02 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Mar 18, 1:02 PM
    It's good that it's in a separate account, it'll be easier to prove to the DWP that it's not your money.

    I just wanted to check they'd included it in the calculations, it wouldn't be the first time they'd missed something that was declared. So it sounds like you've got nothing to worry about there.

    Have the council given you a reason why they won't take the surplus back? It's a long time since I looked into DP but I was under the impression any extra had to be given back. Perhaps you could contact your councillor for advice? You aren't allowed to spend the money on anything else, so it'll just be sitting there forever which is daft.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 7th Mar 18, 4:40 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 4:40 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Mar 18, 4:40 PM
    We have a charity that have the contract to support DP users and they know I want to give the money back they say it happens annually when my accounts are checked by council. They didn't take anything back the last twice, i asked and they said they'd look into it but didn't. I have emailed Social services twice, phoned and at my last 'finances check'

    I agree as its not my money and I am not well enough to use all my current hours most weeks having a big excess is silly. It also makes me nervous as I am very very aware its not my money and I have a thing about borrowing money.

    Now it seems to have got us into bother with the IS chap and I don't want any extra worry. I am still fretting that the IS chap wont have found out about DP accounts and that they are only for social care.
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 9th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:32 AM
    Finally found a quote on offcial website . Leaving it here incase anyone else has the same issue.

    https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/direct-payments

    Quote from this .gov page.

    Effect on other benefits
    Direct payments are not a replacement of income and therefore do not affect any other benefits you may be receiving.
    • Nual
    • By Nual 9th Mar 18, 8:17 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    Nual
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:17 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 18, 8:17 PM
    Unused DP money is claimed back on an annual basis at the end of the financial year - having sums swept out of hundreds of accounts whenever they are in credit is not something SSDs can cope with. Exceptions would be where someone goes into residential on a permenant basis, or is deceased
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 11th Mar 18, 1:07 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Hi Nual

    I have not yet managed to get my council to take back my DP excess.. I have had DP for 8 years ..at the last account review (bank statements, payslips, hmrc) she said they only did that for big sums of money.. to me what is in my account is a big sum. I know they cant do it every time but would like it reduced a bit. Especially if income support are going to count it as our savings.. sigh.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 11th Mar 18, 1:17 PM
    • 6,480 Posts
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    GlasweJen
    Can you not get someone from social work or from the charity to write a letter stating what the money is and what the consequences would be if you spent it on anything other than the approved care? I was told I could get done for fraud if I mishandled DP money
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

    NOT BUYING IT
    (unless it's on offer and can get my loyalty points)
    • Cyclamen
    • By Cyclamen 12th Mar 18, 8:31 AM
    • 431 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Cyclamen
    Glaswegen.. Thank you that sounds so obvious but I hadn't thought of that... I know i'm in big trouble if i spend it on housebills etc... but soething in writing wuld help.

    I don't have a social worker..our county (like others I assume) is short on them so the Direct Payment was set up and I was discharged. I have a co-ordinator who does a review, but new one each year. I will howevr ask the charity that helps for a letter if IS come back with any queries..

    We posted all the bank statement on Saturday for the last 6 months wth the website and quote above so I am hoping its over now.. but still anxious.
    Last edited by Cyclamen; 12-03-2018 at 8:32 AM. Reason: manners again.
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