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Supplementary Benefit

Volume 77: debated on Wednesday 24 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many Easter school leavers he expects to be affected by the recent decision concerning eligibility to supplementary benefit; and what annual sum will be involved;(2) what steps he proposes to take to apprise Easter school leavers who will return to school to sit public examinations of their possible eligibility to supplementary benefit; and if he will make a statement;(3) when he expects to issue new guidance concerning eligibility for supplementary benefit of Easter school leavers who return to school to take examinations, following the recent decision of the Social Security Commissioners; and if he will make a statement.

We estimate that about 8,000 to 9,000 young people may be affected by the recent decision of the Social Security Commissioners on the eligibility of school leavers for supplementary benefit, but the amount of benefit payable will vary according to individual circumstances and this makes it difficult to provide a meaningful estimate of the actual benefit expenditure involved. The implications of the decision have been brought to the attention of the local education authorities' careers services, who will be able to advise school leavers appropriately. The Chief Adjudication Officer is issuing new guidance to adjudication officers in local offices.