Welsh government announces £500 payment for unpaid carers in Wales
Carers Trust welcomes today’s announcement by the Welsh government that 57,000 unpaid carers in Wales will receive a one-off payment in recognition of the ’pivotal role’ they played during the pandemic. The individual payments are part of an overall investment of £29 million to support unpaid carers in Wales.
During the pandemic, unpaid carers in Wales and across the UK worked more than ever to provide essential support for family members and friends. Many had to take on extra caring responsibilities because of the lockdown and closure of local services.
In a press release announcing the rationale for the extra payment, the Welsh government also cited recent Carers Trust research, Pushed to the Edge, which provided clear evidence of the acute financial pressures faced by unpaid carers in the last two years.
Welcoming the news, Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales, said: “Unpaid carers have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic and this payment is recognition of the many hours of care they’ve given alongside the efforts of the paid workforce."
“This is a first step towards addressing some of the concerns we’ve heard from unpaid carers across Wales, spanning from before the pandemic, about their daily struggles to make ends meet.”
Deputy Minister for Social Services in Wales, 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.”
And responding to the news, Kirsty McHugh, CEO, Carers Trust said: “No one should be in any doubt as to why this payment to unpaid carers is so urgently needed. Our recent survey of adult carers found that almost half of all carers are having to use personal savings as a result of their caring role, while almost a third said they’d had to cut back on food.
“That’s why we strongly welcome this payment, which will benefit thousands of the most vulnerable unpaid carers in Wales.”
Who is eligible for the £500 payment?
All unpaid carers in Wales in receipt of Carer’s Allowance as of March 31st this year are eligible for the £500 payment. Unpaid carers will be able to submit their claim to local authorities later this year. Further details on how and when to register for the payment will be available shortly.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show 57,130 people (as at August 2021) are in receipt of Carers.