Thursday, September 20, 2007

Still no care for carers

The average person caring for a sick or frail relative is now estimated to save the nation more than £15,260 a year

The figure, calculated by the University of Leeds for the charity Carers UK, is up 52% since the last estimate, calculated in 2002

The new figures are based on how much it would cost to provide alternative care if a carer was not available. This has been calculated at £14.50 an hour.

The total is more than four times the amount spent on social care services for adults and children by local authorities in the year 2005-2006. (source BBC news)

The weekly rate of Carer's Allowance is £48.65. It can only be claimed by those providing a minimum of 35 hours care a week. Makes a mockery of minimum wage and any statements of how much carer's are valued as this works out to £1.39 per hour, and that's only if the minimum 35 hours are stuck to. Only those over 16 are eligible to claim carer's allowance meaning the estimated 175 000 child carers in the UK are not entitled to even this small amount of money. You cannot claim carer's allowance if you are in full time education with more than 21 hours per week of supervised study, or if you earn over £87 per week (after certain deductions such as income tax)

If carers were to stop what they do, even for just a day the NHS and social care system would collapse. But they're worth only £1.39 per government calculated hour, nothing if they happen to be under 16.




2 comments:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

How on earth are carers supposed to live on that?

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Good question Vi! The answer is I simply don't know. You can't claim carer's allowance unless the person you care for receives the middle or higher rates of Disability Living Allowance (care component) with similar rules for Attendance Allowance (which is for over 65's) so it's hugely complex.
Some carer's will be entitled to income support in their own right, others won't. That's roughly £56 a week for an adult over 25.
In reality many carer's go without food, heat, clothing etc as the financial demands on those individuals or families with disabilities are so high that people just have no choice.