Campaigning and getting advice to carers throughout the pandemic
Thursday 5th November 2020
Many parent carers are facing raising costs and falling incomes, and one in five think they will go into debt because of the pandemic.
More financial help for carers needed
Throughout this crisis, Contact has been calling on the government to step in with financial help for carers struggling to make ends meet. We think this would also importantly send a message from government to all unpaid carers that they are valued at this difficult time.
This week Contact, along with more than 70 other charities and carers groups, have again written to the Work and Pensions Secretary urging her to introduce a supplement to Carer's Allowance, to match the £20 increase in Universal Credit that rightly recognises the challenges for people on lower incomes of meeting additional costs thrown up by the pandemic.
Making families aware of Universal Credit cuts
Contact is also concerned that many families are claiming Universal Credit before getting advice on whether they will better or worse off. This is because many families with disabled children could in fact be worse off under Universal Credit because of cuts to child disability payments under Universal Credit. This would leave many worse off by thousands of pounds and make it even more difficult for them now to recover from the financial shock of the coronavirus crisis in coming months.
Even if you are better-off on Universal Credit in the short term during the current crisis, you need to take into account whether being on Universal Credit is likely to leave you worse off on Universal Credit in the longer term once the situation normalises. This is because once you claim Universal Credit, you cannot revert back to your old means-tested benefits at a later date.
Throughout the pandemic, we are continuing to provide this life-changing advice and support via our caring via our free phone helpline, live chat and online services. And at this incredibly difficult time it has never been more important that we press on with our campaigns, calling on the government to provide a better package of support families with disabled children all across the UK.
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