Almost 1,000 people across Preston are entitled to a Carers Allowance, but are not claiming it.Advertisement
Liberal Democrat local Cllr Mark Jewell and Cllr John Potter have highlighted this issue, and are asking the council to promote this benefit within the Council Tax documentation which will be sent out in the coming weeks.
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They are also asking the council to write to the government to increase the allowance from £67.25 a week to £87.25 per week in line with the increase in Universal Credit at the start of the pandemic.
Cllr Mark Jewell, who represents the Ingol and Cottam Ward, said: “We all know someone who has needed some care, whether for a parent or partner towards the end of their life.
“The governments own figures show that 79 per cent of claimants entitled to Carers Allowance, but not receiving it, are aged 66 or over.”
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Cllr John Potter said: “Carers do a remarkable and important job. The challenges they face every day have been made even harder by the COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve our support.
“They are the most forgotten and ignored champions in our communities. As such, Liberal Democrats want unpaid carers to get an extra £20 a week for this benefit, in line with the increase for Universal Credit. Such an increase would help with many Carers struggling financially.
“Throughout this pandemic many carers have been left isolated, not able to access even a little respite.
“Many will feel lonely and quite frankly exhausted and struggling financially. These carers are at the frontline and we need to make sure they have enough support and help.”
The carers allowance is a benefit for full time unpaid carers.
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You must be 16 years old or over, spend at least 35 hours a week caring for someone in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit and earn less than £128 a week after tax and NI contributions.
It is not means tested, but it is taxable.
In Preston, figures show that 983 of the 3,443 that are eligible are not claiming this allowance.
The issue will be discussed at the full council meeting on Thursday (28 January).
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Are you one of the people missing out on this allowance? Will you be applying for it now? Let us know in the comments below.