Incapacity Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance is issued to those (a) in receipt of incapacity benefit and (b) who have carer's responsibilities in respect of jobseeker's allowance; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

General advice regarding all benefits is available to customers from Jobcentre Plus staff before a claim is made; advice regarding a customer's specific needs is given at new claim stage by the contact centre and by the customers personal and financial advisers.

Leaflet SD4 "Caring for someone" and Leaflet SD1 "Sick or disabled" are available from Jobcentre Plus offices and give detailed information for customers wishing to claim incapacity benefit or who have caring responsibilities. Copies are available in the Library.

No advice is given to people in receipt of incapacity benefit with regard to jobseeker's allowance specifically; however customers who are no longer eligible for incapacity benefit due to the results of a personal capability assessment, or because they are no longer ill may be advised to claim jobseeker's allowance if they are available for work.

People who claim jobseeker's allowance and have caring responsibilities are allowed to restrict the hours they are available for work to less than 40 hours, providing they are available for as many hours as their caring responsibility allows, and that this is at least 16 hours a week.

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