Unpaid carers get extra £460 in vital benefits payment this month – are you eligible?

Ed Davey presses Boris Johnson on Carer's Allowance

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Residents of Scotland who are claimants of Carer’s Allowance Supplement were confirmed by the country’s social security body to be eligible for a double payment worth £462.80. Carer’s Allowance Supplement was introduced by the Scottish Government to relieve the pressures placed on unpaid carers who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

Unlike its predecessor benefit, Carer’s Allowance Supplement is administered by Social Security Scotland and not the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Usually, the Scotland-based benefit payment is paid twice a year with two separate payments of £231.40 each.

The December payment has been doubled in recognition of the unique challenges faced by carers during the pandemic.

Following the Carer’s Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Act, payments were hiked for December 2021 in a move that is believed to benefit 91,000 Britons.

Ben Macpherson, the Scottish Government’s Minister for Social Security, said: “I’m delighted that eligible unpaid carers in Scotland will receive a further double payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement before Christmas this year.

“This additional investment of around £20million means the Scottish Government has provided around £120million of additional funding this year and last, compared to in the rest of the UK, through the supplement and the two additional coronavirus payments, to eligible carers in Scotland.

“By making these additional payments, the Scottish Government is showing our appreciation of the vital role carers play in our society.

‘This funding will help to mitigate some of the negative impacts of the virus on carers’ own finances and wellbeing whilst they continue to provide vital caring roles to friends and family.”

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Last month, Helen Walker, the Chief Executive of Carers UK, outlined the findings of a recent survey conducted by the organisation into the financial wellbeing of unpaid carers.

According to the body’s research, one in five unpaid carers are concerned they may not cope financially over the year as a result of the extra costs which accumulate from looking after a loved one.

On top of this, some 23 percent of unpaid carers do not have enough cash to manage their household finances despite the much advertised support from the Government.

Ms Walker explained: “We are seeing unprecedented levels of stress where financial worry is piling yet more pressure on carers.

“With low levels of services, carers are going to be facing an extremely difficult winter with the rising costs of living, increased energy prices, a social care staffing crisis and a chronically underfunded system.

“For years carers have been propping up our health and care system at a huge cost to their own personal health, finances and ability to stay in work.

“Throughout the pandemic they carried a huge load, with 81 percent. taking on more care for relatives and 72 percent unable to take any breaks at all from their caring role.”

Following the survey, the carer expert is calling on the wider UK Government to extend the support offered to Britons all across the UK via payments such as Carer’s Allowance.

She added: “They desperately need support to regain quality of life and enable them to continue caring.

“The Government must recognise the toll being placed on unpaid carers and ensure that social care reform delivers for carers.

“As it stands, providing unpaid care is pushing thousands of families into poverty and will have a lasting impact on their finances and quality of life.

“Carer’s Allowance, the lowest benefit of its kind, must be reviewed.”

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