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Benefit cap victory for carers

26 January 2016

Benefit cap significant victory for carersCarers UK hails a “significant victory for carers” today as the Government announced it will change the law to exempt all carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance from the benefit cap.

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The announcement was made last night by Lord Freud, Minister of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, in a House of Lords debate on the Welfare Reform & Work Bill.1

The announcement came in response to an amendment tabled by Baroness Pitkeathley following a landmark ruling from the High Court2 on carers affected by the benefit cap. In his Judgment Justice Collins cited Carers UK evidence extensively and ruled that the Government was unlawfully discriminating against disabled people and their carers.

Carers UK has campaigned for changes to the benefit cap rules since the policy was first announced in 2010, highlighting the iniquity of further reducing the incomes of carers who already contribute so much to society.

Heléna Herklots, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

"This is a significant victory for carers and carers’ rights. By changing the law to exempt carers who receive Carer’s Allowance from the benefit cap, the Government has shown that it recognises both the valuable contribution that carers make to society and that the benefit cap unfairly penalises carers – many of whom are already facing significant financial hardship as a result of their caring role.
 “The Government's response goes one step further than complying with the recent High Court judgment, by exempting all carers on Carer’s Allowance from the policy. It will be welcomed by those carers who are currently affected by the cap, as well as those who were at risk of being affected when the cap is lowered later this year.”

 The announcement comes just months ahead the benefit cap being lowered,3 which would have seen greater numbers of carers impacted by the policy.4

Media contact

Case studies and spokespeople are available upon request.

Please contact Lisa Gilbert, Senior Media and Case Study Officer at Carers UK on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 020 7378 4937 or 07534 630 667 (out of hours).

Notes to editors

1 Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16

2 Hurley & Ors v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] EWHC 3382 (Admin)

3 The Government set out in its 2015 Budget (delivered on 8 July 2015) that the cap on the amount of benefits that can be claimed by one family will be reduced from £26,000 a year to £23,000 a year if you live in London and £20,000 a year if you live outside of London. The lowering of the benefit cap is expected to roll out from April 2016.

4 1,400 carers are currently affected by the benefit cap. Lowering the benefit cap would mean that more carers would be affected. DWP, Benefit cap: A review of the first year (2014)

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