Carers are urged to claim full benefits

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Social Development Minister, Nelson McCausland, has urged carers in Larne to pick up the phone and check whether they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.

The minister made the request as he helped launch this year’s Carers NI guide - ‘Looking after Someone’ on International Carers’ Rights Day. The guide provides advice on both financial and practical help available to carers in Northern Ireland.

Minister McCausland said: “Carers play an important role in society and sometimes their own needs are overlooked. Many carers may not realise that they may be entitled to a number of benefits such as Carer’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Employment and Support Allowance and Job Seekers Allowance to name but a few.

The minister continued: “Carers’ Rights Day is an opportunity to let people know what support, through the benefits system, is available for them. I would urge all carers today to Make the Call to the Benefit Advice Line, 0800 232 1271, to ensure they are getting all the financial help they are entitled to.”

Helen Ferguson, Northern Ireland Director, Carers Northern Ireland said: “Every year, more than 69,000 people in Northern Ireland become carers. Many of them accept caring as part and parcel of family life and don’t recognise themselves as carers - but this means they can miss out on vital support. Even those who have been caring for years sometimes aren’t aware of their entitlements.”

Copies of the free booklet - Looking after Someone can be obtained by calling Carers Northern Ireland’s information service on 028 9043 9843 or email advice@carersni.org