People who give up work to care for relatives or friends are missing out on benefits worth nearly £750m, according to a report from campaign group Carers UK.
More than 300,000 over-60s are going without benefits they are entitled to, with nearly seven out of 10 older carers unable to afford adequate heating or clothing, the report claims.
Carers UK chief executive, Imelda Redmond, said many older carers simply did not know what benefits they were entitled to.
“They often don’t recognise themselves as carers, they wouldn’t recognise the term, they wouldn’t identify that with themselves and so they don’t then necessarily go and ask for that help,” Redmond told BBC News.
“For every single benefit, the rules are very complicated. What I’d say to people is, if you are looking after someone who is sick or disabled and is dependent on you, then seek some advice and some help and ask to see whether you are entitled.”