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Carer's Allowance

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Thelma Walker Thelma Walker Labour, Colne Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made on the financial effect of the withdrawal of carer's allowance on carers at state-pension age.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

It is a basic principle of the social security system that only one benefit at a time can be paid for the same purpose. Both Carer’s Allowance and State Pension are designed to provide a degree of replacement for income lost or foregone; Carer’s Allowance where the duties of caring for a severely disabled person prevent the prospect of full-time work and the earnings it would yield; and State Pension to provide a replacement income in retirement.

The overlapping benefits rules, which prevent both benefits being paid, were established to reflect the general principle that flat-rate benefits designed to help with income maintenance e.g. Carer’s Allowance and State Pension, should not be added together and paid in full, even though a person may qualify for both.

Where Carer’s Allowance cannot be paid, the person will keep underlying entitlement to the benefit, which means if they are on a low income, they may be entitled to any advantages arising from that, e.g. the additional amount for carers in Pension Credit, worth up to £36.00 a week and, in some cases, Housing Benefit.

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