Health CommitteeWritten evidence from Miss Hazel Speed (PEX 02)


The Nicholson Challenge

Carers being denied rightful pensions.

Anomalies of the system.

Inequality of rights between sick and healthy people who are also carers of family members.

Carers are being denied rightful pensions. This is being facilitated by (a) a carer is notified they will be due a Carer’s Pension but (b) it is being transmuted across to Underlying Entitlement (stamp requirement for pension) then (c) it must be due and payable either at the same time as a State Pension or after.

Who gives the right to transmute to a rose by another name, especially if the recipient already has earned enough health stamps for a pension? Again why do pensions have to be in the order of receipt specified above. The reason may follow next.

Anomalies of the system. If a carer is sick (on Incapacity Benefit), they are permitted to look after a relative, especially if they live together, but because they already receive a benefit ie Incapacity Benefit, they cannot receive weekly/monthly payment in funds for being a carer, as a healthy carer would receive. Also, if they looked after anyone else whilst sick themselves, they would be considered, and labelled as being a benefit cheat. Carers look after family members out of love, and that is relied upon by the State. So the scenario herein this paragraph is a paradox of Cake and Eat it in favour of the State.

Inequality of rights. A healthy person can defer a pension (Occupational) to ensure it is payable at the same time as a State Pension by delaying retirement until the two pensions are due simultaneously, but a sick person is not allowed such a privilege. This must surely not only be a discriminatory disparity but a breach of human rights. The Governments through legislation separate the two pensions (Occupational and State), thereby if an Occupational pension becomes due and payable before the State Pension it is considered an earning and a Carer’s Pension is thus forfeited. A Carer’s Pension would ensure free rent and Community Tax for life, free legal aid, reduced electricity bills etc etc.

September 2012

Prepared 18th March 2013