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Further support needed for unpaid carers during COVID-19 pandemic

Jul 24 2020

A further one-off payment of $750 to all unpaid carers receiving carer payments across Australia would go some way to providing the support they need to continue caring during the ongoing uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic brings.

Carers Australia CEO, Ms Liz Callaghan, said, ‘Carers have been doing a tremendous job throughout this difficult time, not only maintaining their caring roles in trying circumstances, but often going above and beyond to ensure the safety of those they care for.

‘The contribution of unpaid carers during COVID-19 has seen an increased provision of care – especially as there has often been cancelled in-home services and closure of community-based services. This diligent provision of care, often in isolation, has been of benefit in combatting community transmission and should be acknowledged by government not just with words but with adequate financial support.

‘Recent clarification on the status of the JobSeeker and JobKeeper programs has provided welcome certainty and some financial security over the next few months to the recipients of those programs. Unpaid carers deserve the same in these difficult times.’

As a country, lockdown has been a frightening experience, but carers have contributed to the flattening of the curve by shielding and caring for vulnerable people, including people receiving the NDIS and older Australians.

‘Without unpaid carers, Australia would not be in the current situation of even thinking about the road out of COVID-19 and the commencement of an economic recovery. Sheltering at home will not stop for carers as the recovery begins, and it is vital that carers continue to be supported in their roles. One way to do this is through a further one-off payment of $750 to all eligible unpaid carers across Australia who have not received the Coronavirus Supplement,’ said Ms Callaghan.