Carers at the Heart of the Care System

Carer Watch are concerned that all past / present governments have failed to recognise that family carers are at the heart of the care system. Unless family carers are acknowledged and supported, both financially and through care services, no new system will be sustainable. Family carers are not an optional extra to be added on as an after thought.

Any new government needs to face up to this and make some speed in deciding how to adequately fund family carers. Ten years of nothing was serious, TWENTY YEARS OF NOTHING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Carer Watch believe that ANY Government should

recognise that carers are a unique group within the benefits system because they have to fulfil the government contracted 35 hours of care to qualify for Carers Allowance.

Carer Watch calls on all Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to pledge their support by adding their name and a comment here or contacting admin@carerwatch.com

1. demanding an IMMEDIATE review of Carers Benefits

Carers should be paid a level of financial support that

1. eliminates carer poverty and

2.empowers carers to achieve dignity and quality of life.

The present allowance of £53.10 is an affront to human dignity and fails to support carers..see notes below

2. protecting Disability Benefits ( over 65s ).

One of the objectives of originally introducing AA was that it helped and empowered the claimant, it gave them the independence and flexibility of directing the spending of their allowance based on their own judgement of their immediate and individual needs.. AA is an entirely fit for purpose benefit just as it is, LEAVE IT ALONE.

You can see details here of our campaign to protect the Disability Benefits . This campaign covered several months and we thank all individuals,groups,organisations that supported us and hope they will do so again.

Notes

1. Carers Allowance is the lowest paid benefit. (which has to be worked for, at the
rate of £53.10 per week, £2761.20p per year).

2. If a carer has no savings to speak of & is not supplementing their income with
other employment they may be entitled to some help with council tax & £30 a week
extra income from Income Support. If however, a carer has savings of over £16000,
the only income they will receive in return for working 24/7 will be £53.10 a week.
They are forced to subsidise their own caring role by spending their savings.

3.Many carers are self-funding their caring role when they draw down their pensions
early & use their savings to supplement their Carers Allowance.

4. Carers are discouraged from bettering their circumstances through education as
they are penalised the whole amount of their Carers Allowance if their chosen course
exceeds 21 hours.

5. Carers Allowance is paid to a carer for one persons care only.

6. The Overlapping Benefit Rule restricts carers claiming other benefits.

7.Those in receipt of CA who reach pensionable age find their CA stops but their
caring role continues.

8. When a Carer ceases to be a carer , & elects to return to the job market , he \she does NOT qualify for JSA automatically as CA does NOT count towards the credits
needed for JSA.

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