Contact speaks out about support for carers

2 mins read

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Tags: carer's allowance

This week our head of campaigns spoke out about support for unpaid carers in the Express.

We know from calls to our helpline that parent carers are facing a double whammy of the cost of living crisis and cuts to vital local support services.

As services have been stripped away, unpaid carers have been filling the gaps. They are having to do more, often providing complex care in the home themselves. In addition, families with disabled children have been disproportionately affected by increased costs in energy and food. This is due to the need for electrical equipment for the care of their child and often special diets.

Carers need benefit earnings limit increase

In order to get Carer’s Allowance, your earnings after allowable deductions must be no more than £139 per week. Parents working more than 13 hours on the National Living Wage of £10.42 will find their wages over the limit. As a result, they’ll lose entitlement to this vital benefit.

This policy not only creates a disincentive to seeking paid employment, but often puts carers in a difficult situation with their employers.

Many carers think the earnings limit should increase to be in line with the National Living Wage, and so does Contact. That’s why we are calling on the Chancellor to use next month’s Autumn Statement to increase the Carer’s Allowance earnings limit in line with increases in the National Living Wage rate.

This small but significant measure will allow carers to earn more without losing their entitlement to Carer’s Allowance. And it’ll send a positive message to carers that they are valued.