client with carer's allowance problem

I have just had a meeting with a client whose wife claims carer's allowance. He has done his own payroll for his first year of trading 09/10 and has now received a letter from DWP asking about wages paid to wife. In April and May and June 2009 he was paying his wife at the rate of £97.00 per week until mid June 2009 and completing his own payroll on software. His wife was looking after the administration,phone,reception etc whilst he was away finishing off important work for his previous employer to boost their limited cash flow with their new business project. He has told me, that because of their low earnings, that he claimed joint working tax credits for him and his wife. Their business is done through a private limited company with him as director/shareholder and his wife as company secretary. Because of the long working and driving hours, working for his previous employer, his health took a battering and he was told by his doctor that he could not do any more driving or work or lifting until he had had a operation to deal with his life threatening ailment. After a few weeks his wife became ill with a woman's problem which meant she could no longer work for him and they then both shared the caring duties and she continued to claim carer's allowance. As he was only laid off for one month he continued to claim tax credits. As he had had pay over the NI limit he claimed 4 week's SSP but because she remained very poorly, but still had the intention to come back to work for the business, he paid her the full 28 week's SSP and recovered the set percentage from HMRC. He is now worried that there may be rules that a person claiming carer's allowance would not be entitled to SSP or Tax Credits. I have looked at the relevant government websites and there doesn't appear to be any problem. But he is still worried that he may have or she may have something to pay back. I have done their accounts which show a loss and negative cash flow and apart from tax credits of £85.00 per week have nothing else to live on apart from the wife's carer's allowance. They have no savings and because they have borrowed using property as security, and their property has now collapsed in value, they now have negative equity. Am I safe in telling them they can reply to DWP without any redress against either of them or their company?

 

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Answer fro DWP

southsands@south-sands.co.uk |
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