28 July 2002
Carers have been urged not to miss out on benefits to which around 40,000 could be entitled over three years, says Minister for Disabled People, Angela Eagle.
Changes from 28 October mean many people aged 65 and over will for the first time be able to claim Invalid Care Allowance (ICA) and carers receiving the Minimum Income Guarantee will have access to the carer premium, currently £24.80 a week.
Those carers 65 and over without a retirement pension, or on a reduced
rate of retirement pension, will be able to receive ICA, increasing their
income by up to £42.45 a week. Entitlement to ICA will be extended
by up to eight weeks after the disabled person dies, allowing
carers time to adjust and make plans for their future.
Claims will be subject to the same rules applying to younger carers, and other benefits will continue to affect payment. Those who already receive retirement pension or Bereavement Benefits may not be able to receive ICA, but they retain entitlement to it. This allows access to the carer premium paid with income related benefits, such as Minimum Income Guarantee, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based), Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
Those who think they may stand to gain from the rule changes can get ICA claim forms from social security offices of the ICA unit on 01253 856 123 or textphone 01772 899 489.