HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc114-5W
Mr. Peter Bradley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review regulations which reduce the value of carer's allowance and other benefits when recipients attain pensionable age; and if he will make a statement. [73089]

Maria Eagle

It is a basic principle of the Social Security system that only one benefit at a time can be paid for income maintenance. This is known as the overlapping benefit rule and has been a feature of the welfare state since its inception. State Pension is an income replacement benefit for those who have reached pensionable age. Invalid Care Allowance (ICA), which will be re-named "Carer's Allowance" in April 2003, provides a measure of financial support to those who give up the opportunity of full time paid employment to care for a severely disabled person. It too is an income replacement benefit. Even if it is not payable, underlying entitlement to ICA continues and if the carer is entitled to any of the income related benefits, carer premium can be paid. This is worth £24.80 per week.

There are no plans to change these arrangements.