Unpaid carers to receive a £500 payment in recognition of their key role during the pandemic
Unpaid carers in Wales will receive a £500 payment in recognition of the key role they have played during the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 57,000 carers will benefit from the payment which is part of a £29m investment from the Welsh Government and recognises the financial and emotional hardship many have experienced over the last two years.
The payment comes following a survey of more than 1,500 unpaid carers, which found nearly half had to use their personal savings and give up work or study to take on a caring role.
Combined with the cost-of-living crisis – and the fact many of those in an unpaid carer role will be caring for individuals with complex needs who require warm homes, specialist medical equipment and certain foods – it is recognised unpaid carers will be exposed to greater financial pressures than others.
All unpaid carers who are receiving Carer’s Allowance on 31 March will be eligible for the payment and will be able to submit their claim to local authorities later this year.
Carers Allowance is paid to people caring for at least 35 hours a week, who care for someone receiving certain benefits and who earn no more than £128 a week.
Further details on how and when to register for the payment will be made available shortly.
“Unpaid carers have played a pivotal role throughout the pandemic and we recognise the financial and emotional hardships they have experienced,” Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said.
“I hope this £500 payment will go some way to supporting them during these difficult times.
“We are immensely proud of our unpaid carers in Wales, many of whom struggle to make time for themselves because of their caring role and hope this £29m investment in people shows how much we value and appreciate what they do.
“We understand not all unpaid carers will be eligible for this payment, as many are not in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance, and we will continue supporting carers of all ages in every way we can.”
“Unpaid carers are the vital third pillar of our health and social care system in Wales and took on unknowing amounts of stress and responsibility during the pandemic,” Claire Morgan, Carers Wales Director added.
“This £500 payment is an important first step in actively recognising carers’ daily contribution to our society and we commend the Welsh Government for making these payments direct to carers.” The payment is part of a £29m investment in unpaid carers from the Welsh Government and recognises the financial and emotional hardship many have experienced.”
Responding to the announcement of the payment, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Social Services Minister Gareth Davies MS said he was pleased that the work of unpaid carers during the pandemic recognised but said the payment “shows a complacency on the part of Labour ministers who now believe they’ve solved the problem.”
“The Welsh Conservatives believe that giving a right to respite for all unpaid carers and free access to training, support, and carer assessments would be far more valuable for them,” he added
“This is in addition to our desire to establish a scheme for young carers to provide them with free bus travel and grants to access education, training, and employment.
“Let’s not forget either that this payment is only going to those who claim carers allowance, which misses out the majority of unpaid carers who are probably more in need of help.”
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