Research carried out by the charity Carers UK shows that half of carers in the UK may be missing out on vital support which they are entitled to.
£1.1 billion of Carer's Allowance (the main benefit available to carers) goes unclaimed every year and 95% of carers who are entitled to funding through Carer's Credit are not currently claiming it.
In order to bring these findings into the spotlight and to mark the national Carers' Rights Day event, Carers UK has today (Friday 20 November) launched an online guide designed to provide carers with tailored financial and practical information. In tandem with this, they will also be publishing the annual Carers' Rights Guide and self-advocacy toolkit. This package of support will help carers to navigate a confusing system, provide up-to-date information on their rights and signpost helpful support services.
George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer's Society, says:
'Unpaid carers are picking up the pieces of a creaking system that still views them as an afterthought. Caring for a person who is ill or elderly can be incredibly demanding so it's vital that these people are respected, supported and given access to the information that they are entitled to.
'In the UK alone there are 670,000 carers of people with dementia. They save the government a staggering £11.6 billion, so it's alarming that £1.1 billion they are entitled to in benefits goes unclaimed every year. This much-needed guide to carers' rights will keep people informed about any changes to their rights and, crucially, make sure that they know where to go to get the support they need.'