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Carers: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 58794, tabled on 11 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing carers who are in receipt of carer’s allowance with additional financial support to help them meet the increased costs of caring resulting from the covid-19 outbreak, in (a) City of Durham constituency and (b) England.

Answered on

16 June 2020

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital role played by unpaid carers now more than ever. In November 2019 there were more than 1,300 carers in the City of Durham constituency that were receiving Carer’s Allowance (CA) and in 2018/19 we spent approximately £4.6 million on CA there.

We have focussed on ensuring carers do not inadvertently stop receiving CA because of changes to patterns of care during the current emergency. This includes allowing emotional support to count towards the 35 hours of care being provided by the carer as well as relaxing the rules around breaks in care. These changes aim to support carers whose role has, in many cases, become harder due to the need to self-isolate or shield the person they care for.

The rate of CA was also increased in early April as part of the annual uprating process. Since 2010, the rate of Carer’s Allowance has increased from £53.90 to £67.25 a week, meaning nearly an additional £700 a year for carers. We continue to support those carers in most need through additional amounts (premiums) in means-tested benefits and have also announced increases to the standard allowance in Universal Credit. Meaning claimants will be up to £1040 a year better off, which some carers receiving Universal Credit will benefit from.

Named day
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