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Carers Missing Millions

03 December 2010

£72.5million of Carer's Allowance goes unclaimed. Tens of thousands of unpaid carers across Scotland are paying a heavy price as they miss out on Carer's Allowance for looking after ill or disabled loved ones at home.


Estimates from the charity Carers Scotland suggest that 25,852 carers are missing out on a total of £72.5 million worth of Carer's Allowance each year. This means that carers, who are often isolated, unsupported and unaware of the support they can get end up cutting back on essentials like food and heating to make ends meet .

Patrick Begley, Director of Carers Scotland, said:

"Around 178,000 people become carers every year. Many simply don't see themselves as carers, but rather as mothers, sons, partners and friends looking after ill or disabled loved-ones. As a result, many miss out on support and end up caring round the clock with out a break, often struggling to pay even basic food and heating bills .

He added, "The health and social care services rely heavily on the support provided by Scotland's 660,000 unpaid carers. The economic value is estimated at a staggering £7.6 billion per year in Scotland and £87 billion across the UK. It is essential that unpaid carers do not suffer additional disadvantage as a consequence of not receiving the financial support and benefits to which they are entitled. We urge all agencies and professionals to seek to ensure that unpaid carers receive the support and entitlements that can make a difference to their lives."

Carers Scotland and Carers UK are holding their tenth annual Carers' Rights Day, today (Friday 3 December). It aims to inform carers everywhere of the financial and other support to which they are legally entitled.

Over 1000 community events are taking place across the UK today to provide advice and information to carers wherever they are; including GPs surgeries, supermarkets, libraries, disability groups, job centres and schools as well as employers. Carers Scotland is also calling on neighbours and members of the public to encourage anyone they know who is caring, to find out about and seek their entitlements.

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