Family Carers in Cambridgeshire Need Vital Information About Their Rights and Benefits

2nd November 16

Carers Trust Cambridgeshire is highlighting Carers Rights Day on 25 November by telling caregivers, “it’s vital you have the right information at the right time to prevent some of the harmful impacts of caring on you and your family.”

Events are being held around the county to provide unpaid carers and their families with the essential information they need, because the current systems have been called “bewildering and complex”.  This includes their rights to Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance and other benefits, as well as support from Carers Trust Cambridgeshire in providing a Carers Assessment which could enable them to have a personal budget for a respite break and other support.

There are over 60,000 unpaid carers in Cambridgeshire, with 8,600 caring for more than 50 hours per week, and 13,000 caring for more than 20 hours per week. Of these only about 3,000 receive support from adult social services, and it is those people who do not identify themselves as care givers and unaware that they are entitled to support and benefits that we would like to reach out to. The economic saving in South Cambridgeshire is £144 million each year as every care giver is estimated to save society £15,200 per annum.

Hedda Lilley, Carers Hub Manager with Carers Trust Cambridgeshire, said:  “There are thousands of family carers in Cambridgeshire, people who every day provide support and care to a loved one, who do not realise that they are entitled to certain rights and benefits.  It is crucial that they can access help and any support and funds at a time when it is most needed to reduce worry and stress.”

Some family carers feel forced to give up work when faced with intensive caring responsibilities and are unaware of where to find help, or that they have some rights provided by the Equality Act 2010 which gives them protection from some forms of discrimination.

Hedda explained: “Carers have the right to request flexible working and are entitled to time off for dependents to deal with unforeseen circumstances.  Giving up work could have severe implications for them and affect their future pension entitlement, as well as their standard of living.

“Please do come and see us at one of our stands where our staff will be delighted to advise you about all your rights and entitlements. Or do call us if you cannot make it and would like to know more on 01480 499090 so we can help you and, crucially, ensure that all is done to care for your own health and well being during what can be a very stressful time.”

Other benefits available for family carers are council tax reduction, help with fuel costs, Personal Independent Payment for people aged 16-64, Disability Facilities Grant to adapt your home and free NHS health costs, such as prescriptions and eye tests, if your income is below a certain amount.

Events planned in Cambridgeshire are:

22 November
10.30am-12.30pm, Carers Café Neuro, Marbrook Centre, Phoenix Park, Eaton Socon, St Neots

24 November
10 am-12 noon, Shelford Dementia Support Group, David Rayner Centre, Scotsdales Garden Centre, Great Shelford
Village Benefits will give a talk about benefits.

25 November
9am-12 noon, Outpatients Department, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
Information will be available
1pm-4pm One Place, situated by the hospital entrance hosted by Carers Trust Cambridgeshire and Care Network.

10am – 2pm, Sainsbury’s Coldhams Lane, Cambridge
Information stand will be run by staff from Carers Trust Cambridgeshire.

Notes to Editors:

  1. For further information, please contact Hedda Lilley, Carers Hub manager, on 01733 645234 or Communications Officer Ellee Seymour on 01480 499090.