Drive to pay ‘hidden’ Halton carers full benefits entitlement
RESIDENTS who look after disabled relatives in Halton have been urged to find out if they are missing out on benefits.
A campaign to ensure that every eligible resident accesses all the cash they are entitled to has been launched.
Halton Borough Council estimates that there are hundreds of carers in the area who are not receiving the full amount of cash available to them.
A recent survey by Carers UK revealed 60% have missed out on benefits for more than two years because they were not aware they were entitled to them.
As part of the scheme, and to celebrate Carers Rights Day on Friday, stalls were set up at Halton Lea in Runcorn and Widnes Market to discover the ‘hidden carers’.
Scheme representatives told the Weekly News that many carers feel uncomfortable about applying for cash to look after people they feel they should be looking after anyway.
They said residents also miss out on privileges granted by having a special carers’ tax status.
Carers who visited the stalls were also informed about their rights granted by the Equality Act.
The group was also promoting awareness of young carers who are classed as under-18s whose education and social lives could be being hindered because they look after a relative. These residents could be missing out on one-to-one support and breaks from their duties.
A Halton Borough Council spokesman said: “The day was very busy, especially on the Widnes side.
“We had 14 new registrations.
“It was an excellent day, and we had a lot of enquiries, especially those that related to benefits and pensions as money is important this time of the year.”
For more information visit www.carersuk.org or call 0808 808 7777.