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Volume 889: debated on Monday 7 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many means-tested benefits are now available; and how many different qualifying schemes there are.

pursuant to his reply[Official Report, 20th March 1975; Vol. c. 506], circulated the following information:The benefits involved are listed below.

Administered by or on behalf of central Government Departments and Agencies

  • 1.Suplementary benefit.
  • 2.Family income supplement.
  • 3.Free welfare milk and foods.
  • Relief from National Health Service charges:

  • 4.Optical and dental charges.
  • 5.Charges for prescriptions.
  • 6.Wigs and fabric supports.
  • 7.Patients' hospital travelling expenses.
  • 8.Legal aid (civil).
  • 9.Legal advice and assistance.
  • 10.Legal aid (criminal) administered by the Courts.
  • 11.Grants to severely disabled people—to assist with excessive costs of fares to work or to set up in business or own account when this appears to provide the only satisfactory means of resettlement.
  • 12.Professional training scheme for disabled people.
  • 13.Awards for students taking certain postgraduate courses.
  • 14.Remission of direct grant school tuition fees.
  • Administered by Local Authorities.

    A. Statutory Assessments.

  • 1. Rent rebates and allowances.
  • 2. Rate rebates.
  • 3. Free school meals.
  • 4. Accommodation under Part III of the National Assistance Act 1948.
  • 5. Awards for students on first degree and comparable courses (administered centrally in Scotland).
  • B. Discretionary Assessments.

    Educational benefits:

  • 6. Awards for students on courses of further education other than those under A5 above. In Scotland the student allowances scheme is administered by the Scottish Education Department.
  • 7. Provision of clothing.
  • 8. Grants towards the cost of distinctive clothing.
  • 9. Educational maintenance allowances (higher school bursaries in Scotland).
  • 10. Boarding education allowances in Scotland the central bursaries scheme, administered by the Scottish Education Department, makes allowances to pupils who have no residential qualification for a grant from a local authority.
  • 11. Independent day school fees.
  • 12. Remission of further and adult education course fees.
  • Other benefits and services:

  • 13. Services for children in care.
  • 14. Residential accommodation for mothers and babies.
  • 15. Day care facilities for children.
  • 16. Residential accommodation for adults mentally disordered.
  • 17. Meals in centres for the mentally disordered, elderly or handicapped.
  • 18. Meals on wheels.
  • 19. Recreational and day care facilities and occupational centres for the elderly or handicapped.
  • 20. Personal aids and equipment for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 21. Adaptation of houses for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 22. Telephones for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 23. Television for the elderly and handicapped.
  • 24. Home help and laundry facilities.
  • 25. Holidays.
  • 26. Aids for daily living.
  • England and Wales

  • 27. Assistance in kind to prevent children being taken into care.
  • 28. Assistance in cash to prevent children being taken into care.
  • Scotland only

  • 29. Local authority social work assistance in kind where greater expense would otherwise be incurred.
  • 30. Local authority social work assistance in cash where greater expense would otherwise be incurred.
  • Each of the 14 centrally assessed benefits has its own qualifying scheme—i.e., its own test of income. The same is true of the five statutory schemes administered by local authorities, except that as these authorities have a limited discretion to vary the provisions of the rent and rate rebate and rent allowance schemes it is not possible to give the number of slightly differing schemes for these benefits. Several benefits in these two groups are covered by "passport" arrangements whereby entitlement to one benefit makes the recipient exempt from means tests for a number of other benefits.

    It is not possible to state the number of qualifying schemes for benefits administered by local authorities where the income scale is at their discretion. The list of these benefits given above should be taken only as a general guide and not a complete and authoritative statement. Some of the items listed, e.g. No. 25, cover more than one scheme.