The search is on for Wearside’s “hidden carers” to make sure they get the financial state help they are entitled too.
Research by Mori shows one-in-six carers either gives up or cuts back work to look after a loved one.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions, said: “Carers contribute a lot to our society and we want to make sure they are looked after as they look after others.
“They could be missing out on vital financial support they are entitled to.
“Receiving the right benefits can help carers to make ends meet, and getting practical support can help to prevent the physical and mental stresses of caring taking too much of a toll.”
Future financial security might not be at the top of many carers’ “to do” lists, but the state pension system is changing so that people’s financial security in later life can be better protected.
From April, people caring for someone for more than 20 hours a week could get National Insurance credits to help them build up entitlement to state pension.
The spokeswoman added: “We need help to find hidden carers out there who probably don’t even think of themselves as carers.
“Instead, they are just trying to be good to a parent, or a good parent to their child, but they may be able to get state pension help from April.”
If you are looking after a sick or disabled loved-one, get a benefits check and to explore options to protect your pension.
Call Carers UK’s adviceline, tel. 0808 808 7777 for expert advice.
Taken from Sunderland Echo