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Supplementary Benefit Recipients (Home Helps)

Volume 982: debated on Monday 31 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what date he informed the local authority associations that people living at the supplementary benefit level should not be charged for home helps; if he will issue this advice in a circular to local authorities; and if he will make a statement.

In the circular on Help in the Home, dated 28 October 1971, the then Government made clear their view that people living at supplementary benefit level should not be charged for local authority home helps and that if any charge was levied it should not be of such an amount that recipients would need, because of it, to seek supplementary benefit or an addition to supplementary benefit.Although the formal approval by the Secretary of State of local authorities' charging provisions for home helps is no longer required, as a result of amending legislation passed in 1972, this view has been reiterated to representatives of local authority associations on several occasions, the most recent being a meeting of the joint working group on personal social services charging policies held on 4 March.