The New Carer Badge, For Paid and Unpaid Carers and BLC

Hi my name is Jayne and I’m an Unpaid Carer for our Disabled Child and my elderly father.
I’m new here, so please be gentle.

The government recently recognised the work of all Carer’s, be it Paid or Unpaid Carers and announced a new Badge, Scheme…

I’m wondering if anyone knows if the Unpaid Carers, will be eligible for this Badge and what comes with it? Does anyone know?

Also the Blue Light Card, is now allowing Paid Carer’s, to be eligible for their discount scheme, but Unpaid Carer’s are not eligible? Do you think that’s fair given we can provide such evidence as Carer’s Allowance and Attendance Allowance as proof? And that we provide 365, 24/7 care?

I would just like some advice and opinions on the above mentioned, please?

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As far as I understand it the Government one- it’s for paid social care staff.

Some local carers groups produce ID photo cards of there own. Are you linked to a local carers group.

Hi Jayne

Welcome to the forum.

Unpaid caring is tough at the best of times, but its harder during a pandemic. Hopefully you will find this forum supportive.

I care for two young people with disabities. Busier than ever now!

Good morning Jayne - welcome to the Forum from me too.

As sunnydisposition has said, the badge announced by the Government is for paid care workers. However, the issue of unpaid/family carers being able to identify themselves has come up in other threads and so I have passed your post onto Carers UK’s policy team. I should be able to post a response within this topic by Monday.

In trying to find out whether your local carers’ service has a card for carers, I would also suggest looking at our local directory which you can find here:

Wishing you well


Good morning Jayne

I passed your post onto our Head of Policy and Public Affairs and she has provided me with the following response:

We know that many unpaid carers are concerned about identifying themselves as someone who is caring for somebody, whether that is travelling to provide essential care or being able to access priority shopping times, or skipping queues if necessary. In our new report ‘Caring Behind Closed Doors’, that examined the experiences of carers in the coronavirus outbreak, Carers UK called for ID to be provided for carers. We believe that carers’ ID must be a priority for all local areas, clearly encouraged by each nation’s Government, to ensure that this is provided for carers.

If you would like to read the ‘Caring behind closed doors’ report, you can find it on our website here:

We also set up a discussion topic on the report within the Forum where you can comment or make suggestions on any of the findings:

Wishing you well


My local carers group issue us with a photo id badge.

Hi Jayne, welcome to the forum,

I was also a “Sandwich Carer” dealing with elderly parents and brain damaged son, for many years. Parents now all passed away.

So many people are missing out on the benefits that they are entitled to, that I just wanted to check that dad, assuming he’s over 65, is getting Attendance Allowance?

If your son is under 16, he should be getting DLA, Disability Living Allowance.
This might make you eligible for help from the Family Fund. It’s not charity money, but government money!
Are you getting any help from Social Services?

I’ve just seen this… Kind of makes a mockery of unpaid Carers… As unpaid Carers cannot join the Scheme, but these Carers who care 365 days a year can… Wow…

Again another slap in the face for Unpaid Carers .

When the government acknowledged Carers, be it paid or unpaid Carers, the acknowledgment was for all Carers. On the actual Care Badge site, there’s the official statement.

As I read it it was to benefit all Carers, including unpaid Carers. This was to be launched in June to the wider caring community. Carer UK, we need you to push for clarification on this.

Everyday I see things offered to social care workers and paid workers, yet those who work 24/7, 365 days a year, with no external home to go to, to leave work, at work or no holidays away from their caring responsibilities, get nothing. Yep, there’s Carers Allowance… Attendance Allowance…

There’s families out there that although would qualify for either, but their earnings means they can’t officially receive them. ( Not in my case, but I’m sympathetic to their needs, too.)

I feel us Unpaid Carers are totally ignored, and everyone seems dis interested in what we do or how we feel.

Many of us have given up our careers, because of caring responsibilities and childcare, was an issue for disabled children. Relying on one wage, from a partner or husband. I for one can’t work around my husbands hours as he’s on call most of the week and doesn’t have fixed working hours, so working Childcare between us, is impossible to get a job, as we have no support system.

We get Carers Allowance for our Daughter and I get nothing for my father, because he’s not classed as Disabled yet, he’s old and has a degenerative disease.

I know There’s others in a lot worse situation than us.

Those most vulnerable in every day society have been totally ignored and left to fend for themselves.

Sorry, I’m going off n one now, but going back to original post.
As I read it and as the Care Badge official statement reads and says, this CARE badge and recognition and benefits associated with it, is for both Paid and Unpaid Carers .

This needs to be clarified, as what was the point in mentioning Unpaid Carers’s, if this wasn’t to be the case.

Hi Jayne I’m new to this forum - caring several years for my wife - her full time Carer for 2 years now.

I am like you angry that unpaid Carers are treated like we’re nothing. Even the unemployed get paid more and more recognition than us.

It’s that time of year now Carers Week - so Happy Carers week to all - enjoy all the praise from the MPs - Royalty and various Caring organisations - all the happy fundraising events and smiling pictures of Carers spread all over the news and media publications telling us how fantastic we are - for it will be short lived and we will become the forgotten army for another 51 weeks - sadly that’s just reality.

The Caring organisations proudly bang on about how we Unpaid Carers save the economy £132 billion pounds a year - yet what have they done to ensure we receive some of this saved money?

It is shocking in this day and age that we are not receiving an allowance equivalent to the National Minimum Wage - recently a government response as to why Carers do not receive an equivalent to the National Minimum Wage- was because if they were to give us the NMW then the government would have to change our employment status - and are not willing to do this.

I have no problem with the government changing my employment status if it means I receive the NMW - £8.72 an hour - does anyone else?

Currently as unpaid Carers we receive an allowance equivalent equal to £1.92 for a 35 hr week - with most full time unpaid Carers doing in excess of 50+ hrs a week. How is this right in 2020 - when we as a collective of millions of unpaid Carers save the economy £132 billion pounds a year?

Carer organisations sadly seem to only have their own financial interests at heart - yes sure they give us a few scraps here and there and make a bit of noise and provide some services - but ultimately they receive money from the government- to keep us unpaid Carers quite - whilst attempting to reassure us that they are fighting our corner. They have their own financial agenda to keep the amount we receive at the bare minimum to justify their own existence - it would be interesting to know how much Carer organisations receive from the government each year.

They say they speak on our behalf - instead the whisper quietly so they can’t be heard - and we are forgotten.

If Carer organisations cannot mobilise the millions of unpaid Carers voices to demand we receive the equivalent allowance of the NMW - then what use are they ?

The sad fact is that we give so much and receive so little - whilst the Caring organisations do little or nothing to make change happen - as if real change did happen then they would have no purpose.

You may agree with me or against me - but ask yourself as unpaid Carers how has your situation improved In the last few years - is it getting harder to survive financially every year - of course it is.

What have Carer organisations done to address this - a small rise of a mere few pounds and they carry on like it’s a major victory.

Nothing will change until we the millions - that save them billions - stand up and unite under one voice and demand change from Caring organisations and the government .

Their are more of us - then them - they have silenced us, using divide and conquer and used Caring organisations to do their bidding.

Be silent no more if you want change - change will not happen by being silent - we are human beings to - it’s about time we were treated and respected as such.

I do not claim to have all the answers - but I do know that as long as they divide us - isolate us in our own homes and feed us peanuts - and we continue to accept this - then Nothing will change.

We deserve better - don’t you think so ?

It’s all about money
To pay 6 million carers a full living wage, say 6 million carers getting paid 10 pounds an hour for say 50 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.
What does that equal, a staggering lot of money.

That makes according to my calculations 156 Billion pounds, that’s more than the entire NHS budget plus every day there are more unpaid carers.

Plus all the administration to manage the payments to 6 million carers.

And then have to pay for replacement carers, 4 weeks holiday, days off when ill, bank holidays.

Its just impossible for the government to pay that money, to raise the extra money, put council tax, up income tax up, how? just impossible.

I don’t even get carers allowance, I am on long term sick pay but still caring.

it is not the carers organisation fault, how can they get a government to pay out 156 billion pounds?

There needs to be a lot lot more social care which in turn would relieve the burden on unpaid carers but again how much?

Another 10 billion pounds, 20 billion pounds?

Its just never ending.

They won’t pay us when we will continue to care for next to nothing.

Its that simple


So we should just accept living below the poverty line and being treated like we don’t exist ?

Amazing how they don’t mind getting £132 billions worth of care from us - isn’t it then treat us like we don’t exist.

As for the Carers organisers- I simply echo what fellow Carers say behind closed doors and are afraid to say on open forum - that what Carer organisations done to help us financially? Besides funding their own interest - let’s see some transparency as to how much funding they receive each year and how that money is spent.

If the government can fund that train set at an estimated cost of £100 billion - then I’d take that as they have enough money to pay Carers a National Minimum Wage.

To simply accept that they have no money to pay us an allowance equivalent to the National Minimum Wage is total rubbish - Amazing how the Government can magically conjure up billions of pounds out of thin air - when they want to - isn’t it ?

Sadly with this defeatist attitude - nothing will ever change and we will continue to devalue our worth.

Oh well - Nice big Smiles for, those all important carer organisation propaganda photos during Carers Week and don’t forget to listen out for all that praise that’s going to be heaped on us this week from all corners of the nation - enjoy it - it won’t last long.

Sad but true.


I totally agree with what you have said.

I will never have a defeatist attitude and I fight for what is right.

Those who shout loudest get the most.

I do, I irritate the hell out of those above (social workers etc) until I get some semblance of what is right.

Still a work in progress; but I have made enough gains to continue.

I urge other carers to do the same

I’m sure it says “Beware, Attilla the Hun!” on my SSD file!

Hiya Bowlingbun, We have no choice…a consultant once called me Thor (god of thunder).

It amazes me that Carer organisations cannot organise a petition of 100000 people to have our grievances debated in parliament.

Many Individuals have tried starting their own petitions to get our voice heard in parliament in the last few years and sadly fallen short of the 100000 signatures required.

Why are Carer organisations not organising a 100000 signature petition required for parliament to debate our issues themselves - instead of relying on individual Carers to try and do it - with 6 million plus Unpaid Carers - that figure should be easily attainable

Maybe because for to long Carer organisations have quietly towed the government line and have sadly allowed unpaid Carers to become voiceless - do Carers feel like they have a voice anymore?

They say they represent us - that they lobby parliament for change ?

Well how about proving it be starting a petition right here and getting all Carer organisations onboard
to get 100000 petition signatures so our desperate issues can and will be discussed in parliament.

For to long we Carers have be silent and endured - We should be silent no more - we should not suffer in silence no more behind closed doors - we are real people - with real feelings and real problems.
Change will only happen when stand together and unite.

Carer organisations say they represent us - prove it - Get that petition started and I will gladly be the first to sign.

The time for change is now - UNPAID CARERS LIVES MATTER.


I totally agree Carers Lives Do matter

I highlighted a petition on here a few weeks ago and someone else posted the link to increase the rate of Carers Allowance to the national living wage .

I then went back to check the next day and I couldn’t find it!

I have just checked and there are only about 13,500 signatures on it… not nearly enough yet a recent petition to open zoos got an astounding and very immediate huge surge of signatures.

CARERS UK please can you highlight this petition so that everyone can sign it.
And do whatever you can to advertise it on your Facebook pages too.

Carers want real change

My thoughts are;

Petition not advertised enough

Or perhaps the majority of carers don’t want more financially.

And/or carers feel that whatever we do the government will ignore it anyway.

Well said John and similar thoughts have been expressed on the forum before. You can find some financial info in the organisation’s annual reports.