Carers UK urges politicians to support carers after Attendance Allowance changes
14th January 2016
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
Carers UK is alarmed to hear that the management for the current Attendance Allowance could be placed under community authority in the future, following a statement made by the Government in December.
The charity Carers UK has responded with concern to the Government’s recent announcement that they are consulting on whether to transfer the responsibility and budget for Attendance Allowance to local government in England and Wales.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, responded: “The current national entitlement to Attendance Allowance is an important source of support for older people with care needs, helping them to remain independent for longer.”
The Attendance Allowance is a vital source of income for those caring for elderly and disabled relatives and unable to work because of this. In the past, the benefit has acted as a crucial form of funding to cover stair lift costs and other necessary equipment, in lieu of permanent access to their loved ones’ finances.
Carers UK believe that the present delivery system is organised and works quickly, providing the necessary funds to those who need it. Changing this now could result in selection issues, with many missing out on this benefit.
Herklots explains: “In contrast, developing the budgets for future Attendance Allowance claimants locally, so that local authorities have flexibility over their own systems of support, threatens to create a lottery of support for older people and carers.”
The carer’s membership group has called on politicians to keep the current system for this initial benefit, fearing that a change in the process would hold up their ability to access the Carer’s Allowance.
In a statement online, Carers UK said: “We urge the Government to retain the current system which works well, is clear and relatively efficient. Attendance Allowance should not be seen as a way of shoring up the cash-strapped adult social care departments.”
The recent news is just one point that Carers UK hopes to prevent with its ‘We Care. Don’t You?’ Campaign. The campaign focuses, among issues, on bringing a stop to cuts on care services and benefits as well as ending carers’ financial hardship in 2016.