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Tom Brake urges Carers Rights day call

December 1, 2004 3:33 PM

Tom Brake has again backed the annual Carers Rights Day. Tom said:

"I am delighted to support the Carers UK's fifth annual Carers' Rights Day on 3 December 2004.

"It is important that people who look after a sick or disabled relative to check that they are claiming all the benefits and services to which they are entitled.

"Research by Carers UK shows us that carers' own health can suffer as a result of the stresses of caring, so it is vital that carers know their rights, to ensure that they get the benefits and support they need.

"There are over six million carers in the UK, who provide essential support, saving the country £57 billion each year, equivalent to the cost of the NHS. Every year over 2.3 million people become carers. Many of these people remain unaware of the benefits and services to which they are entitled that are available to them.

"It's a real concern that carers in my constituency Carshalton and Wallington may not be getting all the help they are entitled to. Carers are entitled to need support - they save the country a fortune and without them, the NHS and social care system would collapse. Research has shown that carers often suffer from poor health themselves, and it is vital that they are given information about their rights so that they get the support they need.

"This year, largely thanks to the excellent work of Carers UK, new rights have been introduced around hospital discharge. - Carers now have the right to be fully involved and consulted before the person they care for comes out of hospital and may also be entitled to free intermediate care services. Carers may also now receive vouchers or direct payments with which to purchase respite services.

"It is vital that carers claim the benefits to which they are entitled that are rightfully theirs because Carer's Allowance can help protect basic state pension rights for carers under 65 and will help carers to build up a second tier pension.

"Carers can now claim Carer's Allowance online at www.dwp.gov.uk/carersallowance/index.asp. This has proved very popular with carers who have used it.

"Carers can order a free Carers' Rights Guide from Carers UK by visiting www.carersonline.org.ukwww.carersuk.org, emailing carersrightsday@ukcarers.org, or calling 020 7237 57258880 8125. Alternatively, they can write to me for more information."

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