COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Carers UK launches campaign to push take-up of benefits

Carers UK is mounting the pilot phase of a campaign to encourage carers to take up newly freed financial assistance.

Last week, new rules that open up Invalid Care Allowance to a wider net came into force allowing more carers to take up benefits and practical support.

This means that at least 40,000 carers aged 65 and over will qualify for the allowance for the first time - worth up to £42.45 a week.

In the first part of the Energy for Caring campaign, which was run in conjunction with British Gas, a million energy bills in the North East and Scotland urged carers to use all benefits available.

The second phase of the push is a pilot campaign in the North- East and Scotland that involves 5,000 posters to be displayed in GPs' surgeries, MP constituency offices and Citizen Advice Bureaux. The posters promote a helpline that carers can call.

A national campaign is expected next year. There are seven million carers in the UK who save the Government an estimated £57 billion a year.

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