Skip to main content

Supplementary Benefit

Volume 24: debated on Tuesday 25 May 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 if he is satisfied that no hardship is caused when the supplementary benefit to which a wife is entitled becomes withheld owing to the operation of the regulations which deem a wife's entitlement to be assessed as part of a family unit even though that wife may be temporarily living away from her husband and conducting her financial arrangements independently; and if he will make a statement.

In the assessment of claims for supplementary benefit, the principle that the resources and requirements of married couples must be aggregated reflects the assumption that husband and wife have a mutual obligation to provide for each other. This principle continues to operate even where one partner is temporarily away from home. If, however, in these circumstances a husband is no longer supporting his wife, there is provision under the urgent cases regulations for her to claim supplementary benefit in her own right. Benefit would be paid at a reduced rate for the first two weeks, as with all urgent needs payments, but if the situation continued beyond two weeks payment would be at the normal rates for a single woman in similar circumstances.If the right hon. Member has a particular case in mind perhaps he would write to me.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of persons in receipt of supplementary benefit in (a) Wolverhampton and (b) the West Midlands at the latest available date, together with a breakdown of these figures by claimant group, registered unemployed, sick and disabled, unemployed in receipt of the long-term scale rate, one-parent families, pensioners and others.

Information at February 1982, the latest available date, is as follows:

Wolverhampton*West Midlands Social Security Region
Supplementary allowance cases:
Sick and disabled1,50023,300
Single parent families2,60039,700
Registered unemployed14,600195,200
Unemployed on long-term scale rate1002,500
Total supplementary allowances19,400268,500
Supplementary pensioners10,800166,500
Total supplementary beneficiaries30,200434,900
* The two Wolverhampton offices may also deal with people who live outside Wolverhampton.
Excludes some one parent families in other groups, for example, widows with national insurance benefit and those who are unemployed.
Sub-heads do not add to totals because of rounding.

Source: 100 per cent. count of cases in action February 1982.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now announce the November 1982 changes in those rates of supplementary benefit which were not available at the time of his uprating statement on 10 March.

Current rate(s) £

November 1982 rate(s) £

Non-householder's housing contribution2·553·10
Standard non-dependant's housing contribution5·406·55
Modified non-dependant's housing contribution2·553·10
Board and lodging meals allowances
Expenses incidental to sub-letting
Other (eg for garage)0·300·35
Deductions for fuel from inclusive rents
Hot Water0·600·65
Repairs and insurance allowance1·651·70 (from 1 April 1983)
Extra provision for board and lodging charges
Claimants under pension age with an underlying entitlement to the long-term scale rate, up to5·756·30
Claimants under pension age or dependents, who are infirm because of a mental or physical disability, up to6·507·00
Claimants over pension age, or who satisfy both of above conditions or who are in care accommodation not provided by a local authority or an area health authority, up to12·2513·30
Central heating addition
Lower rate (1–4 rooms)1·651·90
Higher rate (5 or more rooms)3·303·80
Lower rate dietary addition1·301·45
Higher rate dietary addition3·053·35
Dietary addition for dialysis8·709·60
Amount above which laundry expenses may be met0·400·45
Reduction in benefit paid to strikers for their families13·0014·50
Disregard of union strike payments
Direct deduction from benefit for housing and fuel debts:
Basic rate (5 per cent, of single householder rate)1·201·30
Higher rate for fuel (10 per cent, of single householder rate)2·352·60
Personal expenses rate for claimants in:
Resettlement units5·906·55
Re-establishment centres7·758·55
Ilford Park Polish Home8·559·45

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, further to his answer of 29 April,Official Report, c. 331, he will place in the Library a copy of the new instructions to staff in supplementary benefit offices on the handling of claims to supplementary benefit of people from abroad.

[pursuant to his reply, 17 May 1982, c. 42]: Pending publication of the S manual, we do not think it appropriate to make available piecemeal the Department's procedural circulars, as distinct from the guidance in chief supplementary benefit officer's memoranda, which are already published. In this case, however, procedures and guidance have for practical reasons been combined in a circular and in view of the public interest in the matter I have, exceptionally, placed a copy in the Library.