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Heating Allowance

Volume 975: debated on Tuesday 11 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why, in the recently issued leaflet 1 November, entitled "Family Income Supplement", in the section headed "Other benefits you could get" no mention is made of the heating allowance automatically available to all recipients of family income supplement with a child under the age of 5 years in the household; and what checks are made to ensure the accuracy of these leaflets before they are approved for release.

The heating allowance is not mentioned in the section of leaflet FIS 1 headed "Other benefits you could get" because, for those families receiving family income supplement, it is not a separate benefit but a part of the supplement itself. No separate claim is therefor necessary.The allowance has been given to all those receiving FIS by means of a special increase in the qualifying limits, the effect of which is that most recipients get an extra £1 a week. The others, who would not have been entitled to FIS at all without the special increase, get amounts under £1.In the interests of simplicity these details were not explained in the leaflet, but it was not, thereby, inaccurate. The text was, of course, checked by officials in the Department's family income supplement branch before release.