DWP responds to petition for Carer’s Allowance to be increased

Nurse: 'Carers get paid less than a paper round'

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A petition calling on the Government to increase Carer’s Allowance inline with the National Minimum Wage of an 18-year-old has accumulated more than 20,000 signatures – double the amount that is needed for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to take notice. The petition was set up by Emma Roberts who claims the weekly £69.70 Carer’s Allowance payment works out at less than £2 per hour.

Carer’s Allowance is paid to people who care for a friend or family member for at least 35 hours each week.

Looking after someone for this amount of time often means the carer can’t work full time yet they are compensated just £69.70 for 35 hours work.

That works out at £1.99 per hour in comparison to the National Minimum Wage for 18 years olds which is £6.93 per hour.

The petition organiser wants to see this rise to £239.05 a week, to reflect the work carers do – and 21,927 people agree with her.

The DWP has another 20 days to officially respond but in the meatime told Express.co.uk: “We recognise the valuable role of unpaid carers and remain committed to helping them financially, along with their health, wellbeing and employment chances.

“Universal Credit includes a carer’s element worth more than £160 a month and since 2010 we have increased Carer’s Allowance, putting an additional £700 a year in carers’ pockets.

“Those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance may be entitled to other support, including benefits.

 “We know that living with a long-term illness or disability can impact on living costs, which is why we are supporting 6 million disabled people with an extra £150 payment.”

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The spokesperson continued: “This is part of the £37 billion package of support, which will see eight million low-income households receiving at least £1,200 of direct payments this year.

“We urge people to check they are getting all the help to which they are entitled.”

The “Increase Carer’s Allowance to equal 35hrs at National Minimum Wage” petition is posted on the petitions-parliament website.”

The petition states: “As of April 2022 Carer’s Allowance is £69.70 a week for at least 35 hours caring a week, which works out at roughly £1.99 p/h.”

“National Minimum Wage for 18 year olds is currently £6.83 p/h.

“We want Carer’s Allowance to be increased to £239.05 a week, to reflect the work carers do.

“Almost half of those living in poverty are disabled or live with someone who is.

“Many carers are unable to work, or only able to work part time due to caring responsibilities.”

Meanwhile, campaigners are urging people to check their entitlement as half a million Britons are missing out on Carer’s Allowance which could act as a gateway benefit to additional benefits, freebies and discounts including:

  • Potential Universal Credit payments from the DWP
  • They may also be able to get help with housing payments if they are entitled to Universal Credit
  • Some Universal Credit claimants also get help towards their council tax bills
  • Check schemes like WaterSure for up to 50 percent off water bills
  • People who aren’t eligible for Carer’s Allowance might get the Carer’s Element of Universal Credit
  • Discounts on shopping and bills at discountforcarers.com
  • A cashback card for carers at discountforcarers.com
  • Days out – The National Trust and English Heritage give free entry to carers or companions of disabled visitors.
  • A free bus pass – people should see their local council website for details.
  • The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association allows a disabled cinema customer to get a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them.

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