Carers are missing out on an estimated £746 million in unclaimed benefits, according to Carers UK today.
A report by the charity finds that older carers are particularly badly hit with 250,000 carers over 60 not claiming pension credit and a further 64,000 losing out on the benefit carer addition.
One in 10 older carers is cutting back on food to make ends meet, the charity claims. High on the list of problems cited by carers in the study is the financial impact of leaving work early because of caring.
“Every year, two million people become a carer and most people just think of doing their duty rather than thinking about their rights and entitlements. We help carers of all ages through the rights and benefits maze,” said Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carers UK.
The charity wants to see:
* Better information on benefits, rights and support services for carers
* Flexible care services to help carers remain in work as long as possible
* Flexibility from employers towards carers
* Support services for carers, including people from black and ethnic minority communities
* Adequate income for carers not in work
Caring and pensioner poverty: a report on older carers, employment and benefits from www.carersuk.org