The New Policy Institute has published a report based on analysing recent data on caring to find out more about poverty amongst family/unpaid carers. They found that some carers are much more likely to experience poverty than the general population. Staff working at Carers Leeds will not be surprised by this research, as we try to support carers to get the best possible outcome financially as well as in all other aspects of caring.
The research shows that the link between poverty and unpaid care depends on the amount of care provided, the caring relationship and the impact this has on household employment. Caring is most likely to be linked with a higher risk of poverty amongst carers of working age who provide long hours of care. The majority of these carers support someone within their home. In a home where an adult requires high intensity care and another provides that care, the ability to increase income through employment is limited. Dependency of welfare benefits become the only option.
The report draws the conclusion that ‘the state plays an important role in supporting low income carers – indirectly through administering disability benefits and directly through carer benefits and local authority support packages. Improving these services should be the primary concern for reducing carer poverty’.