Sinn Féin Councillor Brenda Chivers has called on DSD Minister Mervyn Storey to initiate a Carers Allowance awareness campaign to ensure maximum take-up of available benefits.
Cllr. Chivers said: “Carers are the least recognised and under-appreciated contributors to our social care system by government.
“It is unacceptable that while we have a steady stream of criticism about mostly unsubstantiated benefit fraud that Carers NI and the Human Rights Commission can identify unclaimed Carers Allowances totalling £65million.
“I am calling on Minister Storey to take immediate measures to inform carers of their legitimate entitlements. I believe the minister should undertake a television and print media advertising campaign informing carers of the full range of allowances that they are entitled to.
“Carers Allowance payments are meagre enough without some going uninformed of additional allowances that may be available or others not even aware that they are entitled to benefits at all.
“The Minister must take immediate steps to rectify this unacceptable situation.”