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Volume 22: debated on Wednesday 28 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to implement changes in the regulations to ensure that married women are able to claim benefits for their dependent husbands and children on the same basis as men can for their dependants.

As was explained during the passage of the Social Security Act 1980, we intend to bring in the changes provided for in that Act, by order or regulations as appropriate, in November 1983 and November 1984. The changes affecting claims to supplementary benefit and family income supplement is intended to come into effect in November 1983, together with the provision which will enable a married woman living with her husband to claim a national insurance dependency increase for him—and for their children—if the husband's earnings do not exceed the increase for an adult dependant. The provision enabling either a husband or wife to claim a dependency increase for their children, irrespective of the spouse's earnings, is intended to be introduced in November 1984.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the rights to unemployment benefit of a person beyond the statutory school leaving age who, while unemployed, returns to a school to sit Scottish Certificate of Education examinations.

A school leaver who does not find a job and returns to school is unlikely to satisfy the contribution conditions for unemployment benefit. Those who, exceptionally, do so will continue to be entitled to benefit only if they can satisfy the independent adjudicating authorities that they are available for work.Unemployed school leavers who do not satisfy the conditions for unemployment benefit may become entitled to supplementary benefit once their parents' entitlement to child benefit in respect of them has ceased, at the end of the school holidays following their final term at school. When, for benefit purposes, a young person should be so treated as having left school is a matter for the independent adjudicating authorities to decide. If a young person, having reached the minimum school leaving age, ceased to attend school, registered for employment, but then went back to school the following term to sit a Scottish Certificate of Education examination, I understand that the independent adjudicating authorities would not normally treat him as having left school until the end of the school holidays following the term in which the examination was completed.