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Volume 983: debated on Wednesday 23 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his most recent estimate of the number of widows receiving (a) widow's allowance, (b) widow's pension, (c) widowed mother's allowance and (d) industrial injury benefit.

It is estimated that in March 1980, 34,000 widows were receiving widow's allowance; 114,000 were receiving widowed mother's allowance; 313,000 were receiving national insurance widow's pension; and 30,000 were receiving industrial death benefit widow's pension.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail the effects of the Social Security (No. 2) Bill on the widows and recipients of industrial disease benefits, with particular reference to the percentage cuts in payment of benefits.

The Bill, as presented, does not propose any change in entitlement to industrial death benefit, unless the widow receiving a pension under the industrial injuries provisions also qualifies for an earnings-related addition by virtue of her underlying title to national insurance widows' allowance. At present, such widows can receive this addition together with their industrial injuries widows' pension for the first 26 weeks of widowhood. The Bill proposes to reduce and subsequently abolish the earnings-related supplement. The abolition will also affect those recipients of injury benefit who have an underlying title to a national insurance incapacity benefit which presently attracts the supplement.Injury benefit, an increase of that benefit for an adult dependant, unemployability supplement for those under pension age and an increase of that supplement on account of age are all affected by the reduction in the uprating increase.Industrial disablement benefit, special hardship allowance and constant attendance allowance are not affected by the Bill.