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Charity raising concerns about rise in young carers

  • 15/06/2017

National poverty charity Turn2us is raising concerns about the rise in young people who are carers. The charity is pointing to figures that have just been published by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) which show that there are 39,770 people in the UK who are aged 18 to 24 years old and receiving Carer’s Allowance. It says that this is a significant increase on the number of people in that age group who were receiving Carer’s Allowance five years ago, which was 27,140. The charity says that caring responsibilities for such young adults can lead to long-term financial hardship as it limits their ability to undertake higher education and develop careers. 

Turn2us also highlights a rise in children who are carers, with the DWP figures revealing that 2,370 children in the UK who are aged 16 to 17 years old are receiving Carer’s Allowance, up from 1,450 five years ago.

People receive £62.70 a week Carer’s Allowance if they care for someone with a disability at least 35 hours a week and that person receives certain benefits related to their disability. That person doesn’t have to be a family member or live with the carer although they often do. People can qualify for Carer’s Allowance whether they are in or out of work, but must not earn more than £116 a week.

Outlining the charity’s concerns about young carers, Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, said: “Caring for someone with a disability is a huge responsibility and most people become carers because a member of their family has a disability and requires their support.

“This combination of need for support and emotional ties can put a lot of pressure on the carer, and so this is a particularly hard situation for a young adult to be dealing with. It is crucial that all carers, and young carers in particular, are given a range of support that gives them the options for learning and working that those who are not carers have.”

Turn2us is urging anyone who is caring for someone with a disability to seek its help at Turn2us.org.uk. It says that it can help carers understand and access the support that they are eligible for and entitled to.