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Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the average length of time between being signed off sickness benefit and signing on to unemployment benefit from the receipt of the last sickness benefit and the receipt of the first unemployment benefit in cases between the Hull Britannia House and Oriel House branches of his Department and the Hull Market Place Department of Employment.

The final payment of sickness benefit is normally issued by the Department's local office within two to three days of receipt of a final medical certificate. When a person claims unemployment benefit at the unemployment benefit office he is allocated a signing day according to the initial letter of his surname and the first payment of unemployment benefit is usually issued by the central computer system on the first day after he next signs on. The first payment of unemployment benefit will therefore normally be received between five and 17 days after unemployment benefit is claimed — the later the day of issue, the more days' benefit will be included. The result is to put the claimant in cycle for fortnightly payments thereafter. I am not aware of any particular difficulty arising at the Hull offices.