§ Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will give details of the social security benefits available to carers; and what steps his Department is taking to publicise the benefits;446W
(2) whether he will introduce a special payment for carers; and if he will make a statement on the financial position of carers.
§ Mr. Scott
All social security benefits are available to carers provided that they satisfy the relevant entitlement conditions. Invalid care allowance is the benefit specifically designed for carers. It is available to someone who has forgone the opportunity of full-time work in order to provide regular and substantial care to a severely disabled person. From 8 April 1991 the basic rate of invalid care allowance will be £31.25 each week. In addition, from October 1990, a carer premium of £10 a week, increasing to £10.80 in April 1991, was introduced in the income-related benefits, income support, housing benefit and community charge benefit for those receiving, or with an underlying entitlement to, invalid care allowance.
Information about invalid care allowance is contained in leaflet NI212, a revised and improved version of which will be available shortly. A leaflet about the carer premium (IS7) is available for professional advisers and the Department is currently working on the production of a leaflet detailing all benefits for carers which will be published later this year.