Hepburn and Macdonald Encourage Unpaid Carers to Claim Carers’ Allowance
Tuesday, 07 December 2010 15:29
Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, has highlighted new figures which show that over 790 unpaid carers in the Falkirk Council area are not claiming the full carer's allowances they are entitled to. Figures released by Carers Scotland show that, of 2,262 unpaid carers in the area, less than 1,500 are currently in receipt of Carer's Allowance .
According to the charity, over 48,000 carers are missing out on a total £72million worth of Carers Allowance in Scotland each year, a benefit worth £53.90 a week. The same research showed that 81% of carers take over a year to fin financial support, and 55% were in debt because of their caring responsibilities.
Commenting, Jamie Hepburn MSP said:
“Caring can have a big effect on carers’ health, finances and abilities to live their own lives. Money isn’t everything, but it can help ease other pressures. I would like to encourage anyone who thinks they may be eligible for this benefit who isn’t yet claiming it to get in touch with Carers Scotland for advice on how to claim.
"The state saves many millions every year by the unpaid work of people who care for an elderly or disabled relative or friend. The least the state owes carers in return is to ensure that they get some kind of basic income, given that many people's caring responsibilities prevent them from having a paid job.
"I would encourage anyone with caring responsibilities to make sure they are getting the support they are entitled to. If there are any unpaid carers in the Falkirk area who are not currently in receipt of Carers Allowance and who believe they may be eligible they should call Carers Scotland on 0141 445 3070 for free advice on how to claim.”
Grangemouth SNP Councillor and Falkirk East Candidate Angus Macdonald added:
“These figures suggest nearly one-third of carers eligible for Carers Allowance in the Falkirk area are not getting the cash they are entitled to.
“Many of us will know friends or family who have taken on caring responsibilities and found that the financial pressures increase.
“Advice is available from Carers Scotland to make sure all those with caring responsibilities are getting the support they need, and I would encourage anyone interested to contact Carers Scotland directly.”
 Further details are available from Carers Scotland.