Responding to new figures released today (Monday 10 August) from the DWP, revealing that 95% of carers who are entitled to Carer’s Credit* are not claiming it, Carers UK is highlighting the crucial importance of getting the right information and advice out to carers.
The charity which provides expert advice, information and support for people who care for a disabled, seriously-ill or older loved one is encouraging carers to get in touch and find out what support is available to them (details below).
The Carer’s Credit helps build the National Insurance contributions of those who’ve taken time away from work to care for loved ones. Nearly 200,000 people who care for a disabled, seriously-ill or older loved one, who are not entitled to Carer’s Allowance (the main benefit for carers), could receive a boost to their pension by claiming Carer’s Credit. Taking up Carer’s Credit for a year means a carer could receive over £200 extra per year in State Pension when they retire. Women in their 50s are particularly likely to be amongst those missing out.
Heléna Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, says:
“Carers tell us that it can take years for them to fully understand the support they are entitled to; so it is of little surprise that 95% of carers who are eligible to receive Carer’s Credit are not claiming it. We welcome the DWP’s efforts to encourage carers to take up the contribution, which provides important protection in later life for those who have been unable to work because of caring for a relative or friend.
“When people take on a caring role for a loved one, they can face serious financial hardship. Many carers see a steep drop in income if they have to leave work or reduce their hours to care; and this impact can intensify if the person being cared for also has to give up work because of their illness or disability. With less money coming in, households simultaneously have to cope with a sharp rise in the additional costs that come with caring and disability.
“Any opportunity to ease the pressures of financial hardship on carers should be seized. It is vital that carers are able to access good quality, timely advice on what support is available to them; and this is where Carers UK can be a lifeline.”
Carers UK offers expert advice, information and support for people who care for a disabled, seriously-ill or older loved one:
- Visit: www.carersuk.org
- Call: 0808 808 777 (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the Carers UK forum: www.carersuk.org/forum
* Information on Carer’s Credit: www.gov.uk/carers-credit/overview