Guernsey States agree to change benefits system

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Changes to the benefits carers and severely disabled people receive have been approved by the States of Guernsey.

The changes were proposed after concerns were raised some people were unable to meet the allowance criteria.

They include a revision of assessment criteria aimed at ensuring those who should receive the benefits do.

The Social Security Department has said it calculated the changes would cost it about £50,000 a year.

The changes for carers include removing the earnings limit and allowing those in education aged over 18 to qualify.

The allowances have also been renamed, with Attendance Allowance changing to Severe Disability Benefit and Invalid Care Allowance to Carer's Allowance.

Shelaine Green, Chair of the Guernsey Disability Alliance, said: "This is the first review of benefits for severely disabled people and their carers since Attendance Allowance and Invalid Care Allowance were first introduced in 1984.

"A lot has changed in those 27 years. [The changes] will make an important difference to the lives of many severely disabled islanders and their families."

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