Skip to main content

Supplementary Benefit

Volume 20: debated on Tuesday 16 March 1982

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services on what authority his Department's northern regional office was able to issue guidance on the payment of supplementary benefit to unemployed teenagers attending part-time education in advance of the issue of a circular on the matter by the Chief Supplementary Benefit Officer; and whether the issue of the guidance in the Northern region alone implies any difference in the policy of Her Majesty's Government on this matter in different parts of the United Kingdom.

The rules regarding unemployed claimants attending part-time courses as set out in the Supplementary Benefit (Condition of Entitlement) Regulations apply throughout Great Britain. In the absence of case law established by the social security commissioners, it is open either to the chief supplementary benefit officer or to regional supplementary benefit officers, who are independent of Ministers, to issue guidance to local supplementary benefit officers on how a particular regulation should be interpreted. The regional supplementary benefit officer based in Newcastle decided to issue a temporary circular in advance of the guidance to be issued by the chief supplementary benefit officer because of difficulties some benefit officers in his region were having with particular cases.