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Exceptional Needs Payments

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the savings he will make by refusing to make exceptional needs payments to handicapped people with in- comes barely above the supplementary benefit level; and if he will make a statement.

A rough estimate based on1976 experience suggests that about 10,000 people a year not receiving supplementary benefit on a weekly basis are nevertheless awarded exceptional needs payments; and some of these are doubtless handicapped. Under the Social Security Bill now before the House, exceptional needs payments would not be payable to people not receiving supplementary benefit regularly. The Bill retains the power to override the ordinary provisions of the supplementary benefit scheme in cases of urgent need.