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Press releases

Record 360,000 carers miss out on £1bn allowances

25 November 2013

Record numbers of carers are missing out on vital financial support due to a lack of advice, Carers UK reveals today.

Research published to coincide with national Carers Rights Day shows the total of value of unclaimed Carer’s Allowance – the main benefit for those caring for older, seriously ill or disabled loved ones – has risen to over £1.1 billion as over 360,000 full-time carers miss out.

With rapidly rising costs of living hitting caring families hard, Carers UK says a lack of financial support is putting carers at risk of long-term debt and financial hardship.

Helena Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“If you suddenly need to provide full-time care for an older, ill or disabled loved one your life can be turned upside-down. When their welfare is your top priority, looking after your own finances can easily fall by the wayside. If carers have been forced to give up work to care, just as the family face all the extra household and transport costs of caring – this can rapidly push carers into long-term debt and financial hardship.

This financial pressure is all too often exacerbated by a lack of advice for carers leading to long delays in them accessing essential support like Carer’s Allowance. It is vital that anyone caring for a loved one seeks advice to check they are getting all the financial help and practical support they are entitled to.”

In a survey of over 3,500 carers, 42% of carers said they had missed out on financial support as a result of a lack of advice and information. Almost 6 in 10 (57%) of those missed out for more than two years – resulting in the loss of thousands of pounds in income .

The survey highlighted how a lack of financial support and rising living costs were hitting carers hard:

  • 40% carers in debt as a result of caring – 1 in 7 in debt over £10,000
  • Almost half of carers cutting back on food and heating.
  • 1 in 5 relying on overdrafts or credit cards to make ends meet

Whilst Carer’s Allowance remains the lowest benefit of its kind, at just £59.75 a week for carers caring for 35 hours a week or more, Carers UK says that it can help offset the loss of earnings and the extra costs of caring faced as well as providing National Insurance contributions towards the State Pension.

The new analysis is part of Carers UK’s Caring & Family Finances Inquiry into the costs of caring and the impact of the Government’s changes to benefits on carers and their families. The full Inquiry report will be published in January 2014.

UK
Press releases

Record 360,000 carers miss out on £1bn allowances

25 November 2013

Record numbers of carers are missing out on vital financial support due to a lack of advice, Carers UK reveals today.

Research published to coincide with national Carers Rights Day shows the total of value of unclaimed Carer’s Allowance – the main benefit for those caring for older, seriously ill or disabled loved ones – has risen to over £1.1 billion as over 360,000 full-time carers miss out.

With rapidly rising costs of living hitting caring families hard, Carers UK says a lack of financial support is putting carers at risk of long-term debt and financial hardship.

Helena Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK said:

“If you suddenly need to provide full-time care for an older, ill or disabled loved one your life can be turned upside-down. When their welfare is your top priority, looking after your own finances can easily fall by the wayside. If carers have been forced to give up work to care, just as the family face all the extra household and transport costs of caring – this can rapidly push carers into long-term debt and financial hardship.

This financial pressure is all too often exacerbated by a lack of advice for carers leading to long delays in them accessing essential support like Carer’s Allowance. It is vital that anyone caring for a loved one seeks advice to check they are getting all the financial help and practical support they are entitled to.”

In a survey of over 3,500 carers, 42% of carers said they had missed out on financial support as a result of a lack of advice and information. Almost 6 in 10 (57%) of those missed out for more than two years – resulting in the loss of thousands of pounds in income .

The survey highlighted how a lack of financial support and rising living costs were hitting carers hard:

  • 40% carers in debt as a result of caring – 1 in 7 in debt over £10,000
  • Almost half of carers cutting back on food and heating.
  • 1 in 5 relying on overdrafts or credit cards to make ends meet

Whilst Carer’s Allowance remains the lowest benefit of its kind, at just £59.75 a week for carers caring for 35 hours a week or more, Carers UK says that it can help offset the loss of earnings and the extra costs of caring faced as well as providing National Insurance contributions towards the State Pension.

The new analysis is part of Carers UK’s Caring & Family Finances Inquiry into the costs of caring and the impact of the Government’s changes to benefits on carers and their families. The full Inquiry report will be published in January 2014.

Regional figures

Across the UK an estimated 360,000 carers are missing out on £1.1 billion in Carer's Allowance - click here to see these figures broken down by nation, region and local authority.

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