To help unpaid carers during the Coronavirus outbreak, the Government has introduced a new aspect to the eligibility criteria for claiming Carer’s Allowance, the main benefit for people caring 35 hours or more per week.
The new regulations, which come into force today (Monday 30th March 2020), allow unpaid carers in England and Wales to continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus or if they have to isolate because of it.
The Government has also confirmed that providing emotional support counts towards the Carer’s Allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week – an issue which has been concerning many carers.
The measures will be reviewed in six months’ time.
Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said: “With the situation moving so quickly, we are pleased the Government has rapidly responded and introduced this new provision, ensuring that unpaid carers can continue to claim Carer’s Allowance if their caring role changes during the coronavirus outbreak.
“In this uncertain period it is important that unpaid carers continue to receive this vital financial support as so many rely on it to make ends meet.
“Some carers will not be providing the same levels of practical care but will be doing just as much, if not more, to reassure the people they care for that things are ok.
“The emotional support being provided by carers up and down the country will be crucial in managing the anxiety and wellbeing of many vulnerable people over the coming weeks and months.”