Changes to Invalid Care Allowance
From 28th of October 2002 the rules for claiming Invalid Care Allowance (ICA) changed.
The main changes are:
Carers aged over 65 can claim ICA for the first time;
ICA will be paid for the first 8 weeks after the person you look after dies.
Carers aged 65 or over will be able to claim ICA.
Most people over 65 will not be paid ICA as ICA cannot be paid if you get a state retirement pension paid at a higher weekly rate. If your retirement pension is less than ICA, your pension is 'topped up' to the weekly rate of ICA. The standard weekly rate of ICA is currently £42.45 a week.
Sometimes payment of ICA can reduce the amount of benefit received by the person you look after. Seek advice,if in doubt.
It may be worth making a claim even if ICA can't be paid. If your Retirement Pension stops you getting ICA, you have an underlying entitlement to ICA. This can help you qualify for or may increase the amount you get from Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Income Support (also known as the Minimum Income Guarantee). This is because an extra amount called the carer premium is included when calculating these benefits and can be worth up to an extra £24 80 a week.
If you would like more information or advice about Invalid Care Allowance and these changes, please contact the Carers' Officers in the Welfare Rights Unit on 01978 267345. Alternatively, contact the Department for Work and Pensions helpline for disabled people and carers on 0800 882200 to request a claim form.