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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 931: debated on Monday 9 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what would be the extra cost of allowing periods where persons are in receipt of a national insurance benefit or non-contributory benefit for those not in work to count towards the qualifying period for the long-term supplementary benefit rate if the long-term rate were paid to all claimants under pensionable age after (a) two years, (b) one year and (c) six months;(2) what would be the extra cost of paying the long-term rate of supplementary benefit to all claimants under pensionable age after six months on benefit.

Information regarding the length of time a person was in receipt of some other benefit before claiming supplementary benefit is not recorded centrally and no estimate of the cost which would be incurred if that period was allowed to be counted towards the qualifying period for the long-term supplementary benefit rate can be given. The additional cost in 1976–77 of paying the long-term rate to all claimants under pensionable age after the receipt of supplementary benefit for only six months would be of the order of £70 million.