Tori Blare

Tori Blare

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Carers missing out of benefits

Carers missing out of benefits

06 June 2007, 14:19

Almost a third of over 50s in the North West who care for their spouse or partner are unaware of the benefits they may be due, a new study has suggested.

National charity Age Concern said 30% of older carers in the region do not know they could be eligible for benefits for their work.

Launching a campaign to put more than #100m into the pockets of elderly people across the country, the charity said help was often available to meet the considerable cost of full time caring.

A spokeswoman said: "Many pensioners wrongly believe that they are not entitled to carers' benefits because they are already in receipt of the state pension, yet this is often not the case.

"And many carers under state pension age are unaware that putting in a claim could give their finances a double boost, by giving them a weekly credit towards their state pension as well as topping up their regular income."

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, added: "The cost of caring can be a big weight to bear for many people, but claiming carers' benefits can help to lighten the load.

"Yet thousands of carers across the UK are each missing out on cash benefits of up to #2,500 a year, often because they don't realise they are entitled to the extra help or just don't understand the system."

He added: "Age Concern benefits advisors can make it easy for carers to find out what they are entitled to and to make a claim."

Anyone wanting extra information can call Age Concern's free helpline on 0800 00 99 66.

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