asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average length of time it takes to process a pension for someone over the age of 80 years; if the preparations for such a pension can be undertaken in advance of the recipient's 80th birthday; and if she will make a statement.
In the great majority of cases an entitlement notice is issued to the pensioner within two to four weeks of the receipt of a claim to pension accompanied by the necessary documents. The Department invites those people approaching age 80 who can be identified from its records as having a possible title to make a claim three or four months before their 80th birthday. Advance preparations for others can only be made if they approach the Department before their 80th birthday. If my hon. Friend has a particular case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it.