Warnings issued as scammers target unpaid carers
Unpaid carers are being warned to be on the alert for scammers following the announcement of a new £500 payment from the Welsh Government earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan confirmed more than 57,000 carers would receive the payment in recognition of the key role they have played during the Covid-19 pandemic, but already potential recipients have been targeted by criminals.
Bridgend County Borough Council is urging carers to be alert and says some residents have already reported being contacted by individuals impersonating council officers who have asked for confidential banking details in order to process the payment.
The council stresses that full details of the scheme have not yet been confirmed and as the payment is targeted at carers who already claim Carer’s Allowance, carers must also register in order to receive the payment.
It warns: “On no account should anyone hand over their banking details or any other confidential information to anyone who telephones, emails or cold-calls them with such demands.”
The new one-off 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.
Announcing the payment, Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said: “Unpaid carers have played a pivotal role throughout the pandemic and we recognise the financial and emotional hardships they have experienced.”
“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.”
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