Unpaid Carers Left Behind
Last week, the DWP’s statement confirmed that they will not be providing unpaid carers with a cost-of-living payment. They stated that, as, like PIP, Carers Allowance is non-means tested, Carers are ineligible to claim additional support.
The representative stated that many unpaid carers will be given this support, as they are already on means tested benefits, including receipt of a carers element that boosts their benefits by up to £2000 a year. As well as highlighting that domestic energy customers will come under the “Energy Price Guarantee”.
However, at Carers Hub we are all too aware that this is not enough. We see hundreds of carers who are struggling financially, before the energy price hike. Without additional support, we expect to see more poverty and less stability for Lambeth’s unpaid carers.
In order to qualify for Carers Allowance, a person needs to be providing care for at least 35 hours a week, making it a full-time role.
Many carers have to reduce their hours or give up work to support their loved ones.
Carers allowance is currently £69.70 a week- this works out as £1.99 per hour of care. Carer's Allowance is treated as taxable income and deducted from any other benefits you may receive.
Government expenditure on Carer’s Allowance in 2022/23 is forecast to be £3.4bn and
between 2022/23 and 2026/27 real terms expenditure on CA is forecast to increase. However, Carers UK’s research shows that in 2019 6.5 million unpaid carers in the UK save the government £132 billion a year. This is likely to be higher since the pandemic.
Without the additional cost of living payments a huge number of unpaid carers will suffer and this winter will be a challenging time for many. At Carers’ Hub, and across Lambeth, unpaid carers' wellbeing will continue to be a priority. We will work to ensure that carers have access to any and all available support. We can point carers in the direction of other local organisations that can help, as well as food banks and free resources.
During this time, having somebody available to listen and understand is vital. We are available 5 days a week, and offer one-to-one appointments, peer support groups and wellbeing support.
We also run the Lambeth Carers Card scheme, which offers emergency planning support, as well as deals and discounts at local businesses.
If you would like to support our work, please consider donating or sponsoring an event. Local businesses and corporations can also partner with us. Find out more here.
Please get in touch if you or somebody you know, adult or child, is a carer who would benefit from additional support.