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Carers NI calls on public to help carers get the support they’re entitled to, this Carers Rights Day

19 November 2015

Carers NI is calling on the public to help people who they know are caring for an older, disabled or seriously-ill loved one to make sure they find out about what they are entitled to and what support is available to them.

Carers NI calls on public to help carers get the support they’re entitled to, this Carers Rights Day

Charity launches new online guide to carers’ rights as research reveals extent to which carers are missing out on vital support

Half of carers providing substantial care to a disabled, seriously-ill or older loved one may be missing out on vital support*, according to new research by the charity Carers UK. The findings come on Carers Rights Day – a national awareness day organised by the charity to inform the UK’s 6.5 million unpaid carers of their rights, benefits and the services they are entitled to.

Carers NI, the Northern Ireland nation office of Carers UK is calling on the public to help people who they know are caring for an older, disabled or seriously-ill loved one to make sure they find out about what they are entitled to and what support is available to them.

A survey1 by the charity of almost 5,000 carers in the UK found that half of those (50%) who provide 35 hours or more care a week have not had a Carer’s Assessment2 by social services. This is despite all carers who provide regular or substantial care being entitled to a Carer’s Assessment at the point the survey was carried out3.

A Carer’s Assessment is an important step towards getting the support you need as a carer; as is getting the right financial information and advice. Previous studies by the charity show that £1.1 billion of Carer’s Allowance (the main benefit for carers) goes unclaimed every year3  across the UK and a recent report from the Department for Work and Pensions found that 95% of carers who are entitled to Carer’s Credit, which provides National Insurance contributions for those who have taken time out from work to care, are not claiming it5.

In order to ensure carers are able to get the information and support they need, when they need it, Carers UK is today launching Upfront – the first online guide of its kind to give tailored financial and practical information to those who are new to caring. In Northern Ireland, Carers NI is also launching three new factsheets – Assessments, Coming out of Hospital and Taking a Break, which tell carers about how to get an assessment of their needs, what they can expect when their loved one is coming out of hospital, and how to get a break from caring. There is also a Northern Ireland version of the charity’s Carers Rights Guide.

Simon Hodgson, Interim Director of Carers NI, said:

“It’s never been more important to make sure carers get the right information and advice about what they’re entitled to, when they need it. Helping carers to know their rights is at the heart of everything we do at Carers NI; we offer expert information and advice through our website and Adviceline, and connect carers to one another through our online forum to ensure that no-one has to care alone. So if you know someone who is caring for a loved one, connect them to Carers NI this Carers Rights Day.

“Every year, 70,000 people begin caring for a disabled, older or seriously-ill loved one in Northern Ireland. Taking on a new caring role can happen quite suddenly and can turn many families’ lives upside down. It could be that a partner has a stroke, a parent has a fall, or a child is born with a disability. When people take on a new caring role, they worryingly tell us that it can be really difficult to get the help and advice they need. Without this support, caring can take a serious toll on a person’s health, finances and wellbeing.

“That’s why we’ve created Upfront – the first online guide of its kind to give tailored financial and practical information to those who are new to caring. We are also publishing a new range of new factsheets to make sure carers are informed about any changes to their rights and know where to go to get the support they need. This Carers Rights Day, you can make a positive difference to the life of a carer by connecting them to Carers NI.”

Find out more about how Carers NI and Carers UK can help you:

  • Carers UK’s new online guide to caring, Upfront, can be accessed here: www.carersuk.org/upfront
  • Carers NI’s new factsheets: Assessments, Taking a Break and Coming Out Of Hospital are available at https://www.carersuk.org/northernireland/policy/factsheets or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Carers NI’s Carers Rights Guide can be downloaded from today at www.carersuk.org/carersrightsguide. You can order a free print copy of the guide by calling Carers NI on 028 9043 9843 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • For advice and information about caring, contact your local experts in Northern Ireland on 028 9043 9843 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Carers UK Adviceline on 0808 808 7777 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm).

-ENDS-

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact John McCormick, Campaigns and Communication Officer at Carers NI at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 028 9043 9843.

Notes to Editors

* Carer responses to Carers UK’s State of Caring Survey [2015]

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