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Financial help for family carers?

Posted in Politics, Support services by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on August 29, 2008

I keep being forced to link to the Daily Mail, which is not something I like to do ordinarily. The paper is reporting that some MPs in the UK are demanding that the benefits system for unpaid carers needs to be updated. (The story is also on the BBC).

It reports that proposals from the Commons Work and Pensions Committee suggest that welfare payments to full-time carers should more than double to £110 while those providing care for at least 35 hours a week should receive £60.50 – equal to the jobseekers’ allowance.

Additional payments of between £25 and £50 a week based on additional caring costs would also be available, according to the report.

The justification for the proposed increase is that carers “often suffer financial hardship from giving up work, reducing their hours or moving into lower paid jobs – and missing out on pensions contributions Almost three-quarters of carers lose an average £11,000 a year, the support group Carers UK claims”

As previously noted, “carers also face greater health problems as a result of the physical and emotional stress of their demanding roles.”

This is good news for the estimated 6 million carers in the UK, particularly as the report points out that “many… people taking on such roles do not consider themselves to be carers, as they see it as simply a normal part of family life”.

That is certainly the attitude we have. Until we know for sure what health challenges our baby will have we cannot estimate the impact on our lives but we have already considered that my wife may have to give up work, in which case we would have to move out of London.

This is just part of doing what needs to be done to support your family. We are aware that there are financial support packages for carers, and while we aren’t going to refuse assistance, we simply haven’t factored that in to our thought process.


One Response

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  1. clive said, on August 29, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    As there are less than 5 million disabeld people in the UK it’s hard to understand these figures, even taking into account the replies I’ve had from the people that researched them! I’m a Carer in case you were wondering

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