MORE than 57,000 unpaid carers in Wales will be eligible for a £500 payment for what the Welsh Government says is a recognition of their services during the pandemic.

The Welsh Government says this is 'part of' a £29 million investment - although, if all 57,130 people in Wales who are in receipt of Carers Allowance (as at August 2021) were paid £500, this would cost more than £28.5 million.

An unpaid carer is someone who cares for someone close to them who has an illness or disability.

Carers Allowance is paid to people caring for at least 35 hours a week, who care for someone receiving certain benefits and who earn no more than £128 a week.

A recent survey of more than 1,500 unpaid carers showed that around half of those surveyed had to give up on work, studying and had to dip into their personal savings, while more than half had to give up on their hobbies and interests.

Deputy minister for social services, Julie Morgan, said: "Unpaid carers have played a pivotal role throughout the pandemic and we recognise the financial and emotional hardships they have experienced.

"I hope this £500 payment will go some way to supporting them during these difficult times.

"We are immensely proud of our unpaid carers in Wales, many of whom struggle to make time for themselves because of their caring role, and hope this £29 million investment in people shows how much we value and appreciate what they do.

"We understand not all unpaid carers will be eligible for this payment, as many are not in receipt of a Carer’s Allowance, and we will continue supporting carers of all ages in every way we can."

All unpaid carers  who are receiving Carer’s Allowance on March 31 this year will be eligible for the payment, which will not be taxable or included as income when calculating entitlement for tax credits.

Carers can apply for the payment later in the year and further details will be made available closer to that time.

Although this is said to be a recognition of the work done by unpaid carers during the pandemic, the Welsh Government has said this payment is also intended to ease pressures on carers who will be hit hard by the cost of living crisis.


Carer groups have welcomed the news and claim it is a "positive step".

Kate Young, chair of Wales Carers Alliance and director of the All Wales Forum of Parents and Carers, said: "The Alliance welcomes the news that many unpaid carers across Wales will be supported by this payment.

"It is a positive step towards recognising the unwavering care and support unpaid carers have always given, and will continue to give, especially considering the extra challenges so many families have faced during the pandemic."

Simon Hatch, director of Carers Trust Wales, said: "Unpaid carers have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic and this payment is recognition of the many hours of care they’ve given alongside the efforts of the paid workforce.

"This is a first step towards addressing some of the concerns we’ve heard from unpaid carers across Wales, spanning from before the pandemic, about their daily struggles to make ends meet."

Claire Morgan, Carers Wales director said: "Unpaid carers are the vital third pillar of our health and social care system in Wales and took on unknowing amounts of stress and responsibility during the pandemic.

"This £500 payment is an important first step in actively recognising carers’ daily contribution to our society and we commend the Welsh Government for making these payments direct to carers."