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Carers Celebrate Allowance Criteria Change

The Parent Carer Forum says the decision to change the eligibility criteria for the Home Carers Allowance is a huge win for them, its members, and the community it represents.

Carers were previously restricted to earning £169.61 per week, which restricted them from certain jobs and the number of hours they could work.

The criteria has been changed to set a maximum number of hours that can be worked in a week, which is 15.

A carer can now earn any hourly rate.

"It is much more than financial support, it is about valuing the role of carers in our community." - Jonathan Langan, Chair of the Parent Carer Forum.

The aim is to allow carers, who are professionally qualified or capable of earning a higher hourly rate, to keep in contact with the world of work.

Parent carer Debbie Bertram has been campaigning for this change for around six years.

She says it will give them more flexibility.

"For example, we have a mental health nurse who is a parent who has been juggling shifts and also looking after a young person with quite complex needs.

"It will now allow her to work just one night a week and be able to care for her son as well, which will make a massive difference to her life, and also to her family.

"It will also help other carers, not only for parents caring for young people, but carers across the board who care day in, day out, 24 hours a day.

"It might let them go into employment to give them that break from caring as well."

The States Assembly voted unanimously to make this change after regulations were brought forward by the Social Security Minister.

It's estimated to cost up to £50,000 a year.

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