Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
"We welcome the announcement in the Pre-Budget Report that carers will receive an additional £60 payment in the New Year. This will go some way towards meeting the additional costs that carers face with high food and fuel bills this winter.
The total cost of this payment is around £55 million and over 900,000 carers across the UK will benefit. It shows that the Chancellor recognises that carers are a group in need of extra help, along with pensioners and those with disabilities.
However, it will not stop Carers UK campaigning for radical and lasting changes to carers' benefits. There needs to be an urgent and radical review of carers' benefits, in particular Carer's Allowance which is just £50.55 per week. This extra payment doesn't solve the many problems with Carer's Allowance, but it will help carers struggling to make ends meet during the current economic crisis."
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Information for carers:
More information about the Christmas Bonus can be obtained by ringing the freephone number 0800 141 2591.
The Christmas Bonus is a tax free payment of £10 from week beginning 1/12/08 for people who receive a qualifying benefit and reside in qualifying countries. It's paid with the usual benefit payment.
To receive this payment, you must be entitled to one of the following list of qualifying benefits for a period which includes at least one day in the week beginning 22/12/08:
Disability Living Allowance
Disablement Benefit (but only if it includes unemployability supplement or constant attendance allowance)
Long term Incapacity Benefit
Contributory Employment and Support Allowance if it includes either the support or the work-related activity component
State Retirement Pension
Industrial Death Benefit for widows and widowers
War Disablement Pension but only if aged at least 65 before end of the relevant week
War widow's or surviving civil partner's pension
Severe Disablement Allowance
Neither the Christmas Bonus payment nor the additional £60 payment will affect other benefits you may be getting.