News and Events News Important change to Carers Allowance and Care Act Assessments Important change to Carers Allowance In response to Coronavirus the government introduced new regulations on Monday 30 March 2020 in regard to Carers Allowance. Unpaid carers will still be able to claim Carers Allowance even if they cannot provide the same level of care because of their need, or the need for the dependant, to self isolate resulting in a temporary break in caring. There is no need to contact the Carers Allowance unit of such a change of circumstances if you are self isolating or if you are suffering any symptoms of the virus and are unable to provide the same level of care. The government has also confirmed that proving emotional support now counts towards the 35 hours of care a week needed to meet the eligibility to claim Carers Allowance. This would include telephone support and social media support. This is a recognition by the government that some carers may not be able to provide the same level of practical care but will be doing just as much by other means. The new guidelines will be revised in six months time. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING MAKING A CLAIM FOR CARERS ALLOWANCE WE WOULD URGE YOU TO SEEK ADVICE FIRST. PLEASE CONTACT Gateshead Carers on 0191 4900121 AND ASK FOR CAROLE KEITH. A CLAIM FOR CARERS ALLOWANCE MAY AFFECT THE BENEFITS OF THE DEPENDENT. Care Act Assessments The government also introduced guidance for local authorities in regard to assessments both for carers and their dependants. Basically under this new guidance local authorities are allowed to prioritise their resources in response to Coronavius. Until further notice assessments need not be carried out if the local authority’s work force decreases significantly or the demand for social care services increases to such an extent that it would no longer be reasonable or practicable for the local authority to comply with Care Act duties. If this happens there will be a reduction in the number of carer support plans and support plans for those in need of care, being carried out. Please contact Gateshead Carers on 0191 4900121 or [email protected] if you have concerns about these changes or need further information.