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One in six carers give up or cut back work to care and face a significant drop in income which can continue for several years. New research by Ipsos MORI for Carers Rights Day shows the average carer in Britain today cares for around six-and-a-half years clocking up an average of 27 hours a week.


With their focus on making sure their partner, parent or disabled child has the care they need, over half haven't thought about or started to save towards their long-term financial future. This includes around a third who haven't even thought this far ahead.

A separate study of round-the-clock carers by Carers UK reveals that over a third (35%) had missed out on benefits like Carer's Allowance because they didn't realise they could claim. Half (49%) said that not getting these benefits affected their health and two in five that they were struggling financially. One in five said they were in debt because of missing out.

Today Carers UK and the Department for Work and Pensions are calling on all carers to check they get all the financial help and practical support on offer.

Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK said: "Caring can take a massive toll on carers' finances. Whilst facing hugely reduced incomes from giving up work or reducing their hours, carers face all the additional costs of care. With potentially a decade of caring ahead of them, Carers UK urges carers to seek advice and claim the benefits they are entitled to."

Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society Angela Eagle said: "From April next year, Government reforms will enable people who look after someone for more than 20 hours a week to build up entitlement to a basic state pension, thereby helping those who may not even think of themselves as a carer safeguard their financial future."

To coincide with Carers Rights Day, Carers UK is publishing two new advice guides, Caring about your pension and Looking after someone: A carer's guide to rights and entitlements.

Carers UK has welcomed the announcement by the Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, that carers would a priority group for vaccinations against swine flu.

A delegation of Carers UK members have been to Number Ten to hand in the Carers Poverty Charter which calls for urgent action to improve carer finances.

Charities working with older people, carers and disabled people are up in arms after the Government has reneged on a promise to publish the financial modelling behind the care funding Green Paper.

Government announces review of support for carers in employment and an increase in the earnings limit for Carer's Allowance.


Carers UK with backing from the Daily Mirror is calling for carers to be allowed extra time off work when they are unable to cope. One in five people looking after someone find it impossible to balance a job and caring. Carers UK is backing the Daily Mirror's caring for carers campaign and calling for carer's leave to be made law.

How will the political parties approach care in the run up to a general election? Will it influence people's voting habits? Carers UK is shaping debate on the future of social care by hosting fringe events at the party conferences of the three main political parties.

Harriet Harman has stepped up the Government's action to raise awareness of flexible working rights for carers with the publication of a new survey showing that millions were unaware of flexible working rights for parents and carers.

Carers UK is concerned that £150 million given to Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) is not being spent on its intended purpose of giving carers a break.

Carers UK is receiving increasing numbers of calls from carers about pandemic flu. This statement outlines what action we are taking to press the government and what the current advice is for carers.

SCIE (Social Care Institue for Excellence) in conjunction with Carers UK has published a new briefing about personalisation and carers.

Carers UK reaction to care and support green paper

Carers UK today warned of significant economic and social problems if the Government and all political parties do not get to grips with the care crisis facing the country

Carer Dave Burgess has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours.

Over three-quarters (76%) of people in Wales who provide unpaid care for a loved one who is ill, frail or disabled have reached breaking point due to the pressures of their caring role, according to new research issued to launch Carers Week 2009 (8-14 June).

Parliamentarians, carers and representatives of carers' organisations gathered at Westminster to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the passing of the Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act. The historic act promoted the rights of the 6 million people who care for a friend or family member.

Carers UK, supported by 8 major charities including Mencap, Rethink, Counsel and Care and the Alzheimer's Society, today launched a Carer Poverty Charter, calling upon the Government to set out an urgent timetable of action to improve carers' benefits and income.

Campaign launched to give those calling mobiles a fairer deal by reducing calling costs.

Last week six carers and Imelda Redmond, Chief Executive of Carers UK, met Sir Leigh Lewis, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions, Terry Moran, Chief Executive of the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service and Jeremy Groombridge, Director of Policy at Jobcentre Plus, to talk about carers' experiences of using the benefits system.

This afternoon a delegation of MPs met Prime Minister Gordon Brown to urge him to make improvements to carers' benefits. Carers UK also attended the meeting and presented carers' concerns directly to the Prime Minister.

Carers UK are gathering evidence make the case for new legal protections for carers against discrimination. If you have been discriminated against or harrassed as a result of being a carer please fill in our equalities survey and tell us about your experiences.

The Government has today announced that it intends to ban discrimination against carers by protecting people who are 'associated with' someone who is disabled. This will apply in employment and in the provision of goods, facilities and services.

New national information, advice and support telephone service for carers, launched on April 1st 2009.

The two organisations will work together to improve the health of carers, many of whom suffer in silence with health problems of their own.

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