Households are having to deal with inflation at a 40-year low and energy bills are set to rise by 27 per cent as of this month. One of the groups most vulnerable to this is unpaid carers, who must also take care of their loved ones themselves. Carer’s Allowance One of the main benefit payments available to this group is through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
However, the government is yet to confirm how much the subsidy amount will be increased for next year.
Every April, the rate of benefits such as Carer’s Allowance is increased, with the State Pension likely to rise in line with inflation for the following year.
Campaigners are pushing to introduce a similar rate hike for Rishi Sunak non-paying carers.
Currently, Carer’s Allowance is £69.70 a week if you look after someone for at least 35 hours a week.
A person looked after by an unpaid carer must be on a qualifying benefit payment from the DWP.
Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week, Mr Sunak said: “I have always acted to protect the most vulnerable.
“It’s because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s the values of our Compassionate Party.
“I can absolutely assure him and give him that commitment that we will continue to work in the coming weeks.”
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Carers UK, which advocates for the interests and well-being of unpaid carers across the country, is one of the organizations calling for more to be done.
The charity is urging increased benefit support of up to £500 to help those most in need.
Helen Walker, chief executive of Carers UK, outlined what is currently at stake for unpaid careers.
Mrs Walker said: “We know many carers who provide 24-hour care are at a critical point – bearing the brunt of exceptionally high inflation, rapid rises in food and energy prices and having to turn to food banks.
“Reducing their electricity and food use without putting the elderly or disabled person they support at risk is not an option for some.
“Carers receiving the Carer’s Allowance cannot easily work or increase their hours due to the demanding nature of their caring commitments.
“Despite saving the government £193 billion a year during the pandemic, they have received no targeted support. Without unpaid carers, our health and social care systems cannot manage.
A caregiver expert describes what support families need to get them through the winter months and beyond.
He added: “It is imperative that the new Prime Minister keeps his earlier promise and gets all maintenance benefits adjusted for inflation as soon as possible.
“Carers UK is calling for recipients to receive a winter top-up payment of at least £500 so they have a better chance of managing and caring for themselves and their loved ones in the short term.
“From his time as chancellor, Rishi Sunak knows the huge challenges facing our social care system – so it is vital that long-term investment in social care is delivered, enabling carers to take a break and re-enter the labor market.
“For too long without any meaningful support, carers are now burnt out, exhausted and their health and livelihoods are at risk.”
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