June 14, 2011 10:22 AM

Jenny Willott, the MP for Cardiff Central and Co-Chair of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Committee on Work and Pensions, has drawn
attention to the potential impact on carers of changes to disability benefits.

The Government plans to increase the amount of time a person must have a disability before they are able to claim the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA), from 3 months to 6 months.

This could have an effect on people who give up work to care for a disabled relative, as they will not be entitled to Carers Allowance until the cared for person receives PIP.

During oral questions to the Department for Work and Pensions yesterday, Jenny Willott asked the Government to consider allowing carers of people with sudden onset conditions such as cancer or stroke, to have early access to Carers Allowance.

Commenting Jenny said:

"Both DLA and PIP are intended to support the long term disabled, so it is right that there should be eligibility requirements for claiming these benefits. However, people who give up work to care for seriously sick ordisabled relatives should not be penalised.

"I'm glad that the Minister agreed to look at how changes brought in with PIPs will affect access to Carers Allowance and consider what support is given to carers who display enormous self sacrifice looking after friends and family members."

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