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Invalid Care Allowances

Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in each of the last three years have been overpaid in respect of invalid care allowance where the overlapping benefit rule applied; and what the total amount overpaid in this respect was in each year; [101947](2) what estimate he has made of

(a) the cost of removing the overlapping benefit rule in respect of invalid care allowance and (b) the number of beneficiaries. [101948]

[holding answer 13 March 2003]: Information about the number of overpayments of invalid care allowance due to the operation of the overlapping benefit rules is not available.Exempting invalid care allowance from the overlapping benefit rules would run counter to the basic principle that the social security scheme should avoid making duplicate provision from public funds for the

same contingency by paying more than one income-maintenance benefit at the same time. The estimated gross cost would be around £320 million

1 a year2 , affecting some 160,000 recipients. After adjusting for offsets in the income-related benefits3 , the estimated net cost would be about £190 million1 a year.

1 Figures are rounded to the nearest £10 million and assume no increase in ICA take up
2 Gross costs calculated from data taken from a 100 per cent extract of ICA records in September 2002. The costs include an allowance for underlying entitlement cases not currently on the ICA computer system.
3 Income support offsets calculated from a 5 per cent extract of records in September 2002. housing benefit/council tax benefit offsets calculated from a 1 per cent sample of records in May 2001