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Pensioners: Carer's Allowance

Volume 481: debated on Monday 20 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will consider paying carers allowance to pensioners; and if he will make a statement. (225887)

Since October 2002 carers aged 65 or over have been able to qualify for carer's allowance on the same basis as younger carers. The general principle is that if a claimant qualifies for more than one non-means-tested income replacement benefit the higher benefit is paid. Therefore, if a carer is receiving a state pension they would not be paid a carer's allowance unless their state pension was less than the rate of carer's allowance.

Over 400,000 carers receive income-related benefits including income support, jobseeker's allowance, housing benefit, council tax benefit and pension credit which are paid at a higher rate because they are entitled to carer's allowance. The higher rate is paid even if the carer satisfies the qualifying rules for carer's allowance but receives a state pension at a higher rate and as a result cannot be paid carer's allowance.