asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, under the new housing benefit scheme, disabled people will be allowed to forgo higher needs allowances to which they are entitled; if, as a result, they will become eligible for topping-up payments and obtain the advantages of the supplementary benefit scheme, including possible graduation to the long-term rate after one year; and if he will make a statement.
[pursuant to the reply, 19 March 1982, Vol. 20, c. 218]: Few disabled people are likely to be adversely affected in this way. There are a number of practical problems, of which this is one, which we need to resolve, in consultation with local authorities, before the scheme comes into effect in April 1983. It is too soon to indicate the outcome.