East of England: Carers missing out on millions in allowances

NEARLY 23,000 carers across the East of England are missing out on over �63million in unclaimed allowance owed to them.

The shocking findings have been revealed by the charity Carers UK which is now urging people owed Carer’s Allowance to come forward.

Estimates from the charity suggest that 22,556 carers in the region are missing out on a total of �63.2m worth of Carer’s Allowance each year.

In Suffolk a total of 2,494 carers have missed out on an estimated �6,987,596 worth of allowance. In Essex 5,089 carers have missed out on �14,261,940, while in Norfolk 3,915 carers have missed out on �10,971,884.

Imelda Redmond, CBE, chief executive of Carers UK, said: “Over 192,000 people become carers every year in the East of England, and we hear from families who are simply not told about the support that is there for them.

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“Many also don’t see themselves as carers, but as mothers, sons, partners and friends looking after ill or disabled loved-ones.

“As a result, many miss out on support and end up caring round the clock without a break, and struggling to pay even basic food and heating bills.

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“We rely heavily on the support provided by carers, which has been valued at a staggering �87billion per year across the country. It is crucial that all parts of our society work to identify carers and ensure they get the support they need.”

The charity has also voiced fears that carers who are unaware of the support they can get will end up cutting back on essentials like food and heating to make ends meet.

Carers UK is today holding the 10th annual Carers’ Rights Day, which aims to inform carers everywhere of the financial and other support to which they are legally entitled.

More than 700 community events are also taking place across the UK on Carers’ Rights Day to provide advice and information to carers wherever they are; including GPs surgeries, supermarkets, libraries, disability groups, job centres and schools as well as employers.

Carer’s Allowance is a taxable benefit available from the government to help people who spend at least 35 hours a week looking after someone who is disabled. To find out if you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance contact Carers UK on 0808 808 7777 or visit www.carersuk.org

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