Carers' Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent discussions he has had with representatives of carers' interest groups on proposals for payments of carer's allowance to people who have retired from work and continue to care for relatives.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People; Minister for the South East), Department for Work and Pensions

In our Carers Strategy, published in June 2008, we set out our vision of the support we aim to provide for carers over the next 10 years. In developing our Carers Strategy, we conducted one of the most in-depth and widespread consultations ever held on carers' issues. This included discussions with carers' interest groups on a wide range of benefit issues.

People who have retired from work but continue to care for relatives are not excluded from claiming carer's allowance. Although carer's allowance will not usually be payable where state pension is in payment, the person can still access the carer premium, currently £27.75 a week, in the income-related benefits such as housing benefit and council tax benefit, or the equivalent additional amount for carers in pension credit. In addition, where someone would receive less from state pension than from carer's allowance, an amount of carer's allowance can be paid to make up the difference.

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