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Carers, unaware of support, missing out on benefits and pensions

27 November 2009

Carers provide unpaid care by looking after ill, frail or disabled family members, friends or partners.

 

To mark the tenth national Carers Rights Day, organised by Carers UK, new research will be launched on 4th December 2009, showing that people caring for elderly, sick or disabled relatives could be missing out on vital support, which could help them plan for their family finances and pensions, because they are not aware of what is available. This is particularly important for carers because:

1 in 5 carers have given up work to care damaging their chances of getting a full Basic State Pension in retirement unless they claim the correct benefits.

Carers are unaware they are entitled to support: Research from Carers UK and Carers Scotland indicates that it takes an average two years for people caring for friends or relatives to realise they are a 'carer' and access financial and practical support – missing out on key benefits and pension contributions.

There are currently six million carers throughout the UK (660,000 in Scotland) and every year over 2 million people become carers every year and 2 million cease caring (178,000 in Scotland).

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