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Exceptional Needs Payments

Volume 979: debated on Monday 25 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many persons are receiving (a) exceptional needs payments and (b) exceptional circumstances additions; and how many in each category are not receiving weekly supplementary benefit, expressed both numerically and as a percentage of the whole of each category.

The latest available information related to a week during November 1978 when, of the 2,932,000 claimants then in receipt of weekly supplementary benefit, 516,000 had been awarded one or more exceptional needs payments during the previous 12 months, or since benefit began if less than twelve months. Statistics are not held of awards to those not receiving supplementary benefit on a weekly basis, but a rough estimate based on 1976 experience suggests that about 10,000 people a year in this category are given exceptional needs payments.At the same time in November 1978, the number of claimants with an exceptional circumstances addition included in their assessment was 1,666,000. These additions are made only to those in receipt of weekly supplementary benefit.