In the run-up to Carers’ Rights Day (29 November) Liberal Democrats in Redcar & Cleveland are urging carers to claim what they are entitled to.
The main carers’ benefit, Carer’s Allowance of £59.75 a week, is available to many people who provide full-time care, often to friends or relatives.
However, research by the charity Carers UK found that a shocking number of carers in the Borough are not getting the benefit.
It was estimated in 2010 that nearly £3 million went unclaimed in the Borough. The figure may well have risen since then. Across the country an estimated £843 million is not claimed.
Councillor Mary Ovens, Lib Dem Spokesperson on Health & Social Wellbeing, said:
“There are 6 million informal carers in the UK, who save the country billions every year. Yet in Redcar & Cleveland over a third of carers entitled to Carers Allowance do not claim.
“Carers are not in it for the money, they do it out of a sense of duty. But many suffer hardship as a result of their caring responsibilities, and this should not happen. That’s why I want to use Carers Rights Week to urge people to get the support that is available.
“If you think you might be entitled, or know someone who might be, please call the advice line on 0845 6084321.”
Carer’s Allowance of £59.75 a week is available to carers who are caring for someone who receives either Attendance Allowance (AA), the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Constant Attendance Allowance paid with either a War Pension or Industrial Disablement Benefit, and;
Provide care for at least 35 hours each week;
Are aged 16 or over;
Are not in full-time education;
Earn £100 a week or less (after deductions);
Satisfy UK residence criteria.