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Benefit Provision

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to investigate ways in which the families of individuals who are seriously ill can be given better financial security.

I have been asked to reply.On 10 January we laid before Parliament "The Way Ahead: Benefits for Disabled People" which details our major proposals arising from our review of the balance and structure of social security benefits for long-term sick and disabled people and their carers. With effect from October 1990 we propose to remove the six-month qualifying period for attendance allowance for people who are terminally ill. Carers of people who are terminally ill will automatically be eligible to claim invalid care allowance. Also effective from October 1990 a carer's premium, initially at a rate of £10 a week, will be introduced into income support and housing benefit for those receiving invalid care allowance. This will help 30,000 carers.