Today, responding to the Government’s announcement that they are consulting on transferring the budget and responsibility for Attendance Allowance to local government in England and to Wales – which would have serious repercussions for those providing unpaid care in the future – Carers UK expressed its grave concern and alarm.
Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:
“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 present delivery of the benefit is quick and efficient for those who need it.
“In contrast, devolving 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.
“Given that Attendance Allowance is a gateway benefit to claiming Carer’s Allowance, we are extremely concerned that, in the future, carers will find it more difficult to access Carer’s Allowance – an absolutely vital source of income for those caring for older and disabled loved ones.
“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.”
More information on Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance is available from the Carers UK website:
• Attendance Allowance: www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/financial-support/help-with-benefits/attendance-allowance