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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 29: debated on Thursday 28 October 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will detail the average length of time claimants wait for the hearing of their appeals against supplementary benefit decisions for each year since 1979; and if these data can be presented for(a)Birkenhead,(b)Merseyside and(c)nationally.

The information is given in the following table.

Supplementary benefit appeal tribunals: Time from lodgement of appeal to hearing
Number of weeks
197919801981
Birkenhead4·14·77·8
Merseyside3·84·38·0
Nationally3·93·96·2

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the information given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 161, on the number of claimants ineligible for unemployment benefit who have had their supplementary benefit reduced or withdrawn.

(a)Annual totals of the number of claimants who had their supplementary benefit reduced because they left, lost or refused work without good cause are not collected. The following figures relate to the position on one clay in the year and are derived from the supplementary benefits annual statistical enquiry. It is not possible to break down these figures to show separately those ineligible for unemployment benefit and those with an underlying entitlement.

Number of cases with reductions due to voluntary unemployment

Year

Number

198020,285
198114,594

(b)Statistics about withdrawal of benefit do not discriminate between claimants who have or have not an underlying entitlement to unemployment benefit. The available information is as follows:

Number of cases where benefit was refused or withdrawn

Year

Number

19815,482

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will update the information on the numbers of supplementary benefit recipients called for interview before unemployment review officers given to the hon. Member for Birkenhead on 21 May 1981,Official Report, c. 158.

The information requested is as follows:

1981
Number
Number invited for interview425,000
Number who ceased to draw benefit before interview31,000
Total number of interviews642,000
Number who ceased to draw benefit after interview66,000
Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the current length of time Birkenhead claimants wait to appeal against a supplementary benefit officer's decision.

This information is not available. Claimants may make an appeal to a supplementary benefit appeal tribunal within 28 days from the date on which notice of the benefit officer's decision is given, or within such further time as the chairman of the tribunal may allow.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the recognised date in September for the commencement of processing of claims forms for supplementary benefit submitted by unemployed school leavers; and if the same date was applicable throughout the United Kingdom.

Pupils aged 16-18 who leave school during or at the end of the summer-term become eligible to claim supplementary benefit on the first Monday in September and claims are processed accordingly. This applies throughout the United Kingdom.