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Exceptional Needs Payments

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 14 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average value per recipient of exceptional needs payments and exceptional circumstances additions paid to supplementary benefit recipients; and what percentage of average benefit payments the total figure represents.

The latest available information relates to November 1978 when, of 2,932,000 supplementary benefit claimants, 516,000 had received one or more exceptional needs payments during the previous 12 months, or since benefit began to be paid if less than 12 months. This figure excludes payments made during the year to those who were not in receipt of benefit at the end of November. The average payment per case was £47·17.At the same date, the number of claimants with exceptional circumstances additions was 1,666,000 and the average amount per claimant was £1·48.That total cost of all exceptional needs payments made during 1978, and of all exceptional circumstances additions as included in assessments of entitlement in November of that year, was £164 million or 7·8 per cent. of the total annual cost of supplementary benefit.