Carer 'forced to quit college' over benefits rules

A student who has looked after her mother since she was 11 said she feels totally disheartened after quitting college because she would lose her weekly carer's allowance.

Lucy Prentice was two years into a business administration and animal management course at Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthen.

But her third year would have seen her go over the maximum 21 hours a week studying and still qualify for the benefit.

Ms Prentice, 20, said the payment was vital for paying for things like heating as well as the family car.

The Department for Work and Pensions insisted it recognised "the importance of carers maintaining links with the education system" and achieving their full potential.

A spokesman said: "Carers can undertake up to 21 hours of supervised study per week and still receive carer's allowance. Carers in full-time education may also be eligible for other financial support through the educational maintenance system."