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Cohabitation Rule

Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women have been cut off from social security benefit as a result of the cohabitation rule in the following categories (a) women receiving widow's allowance, 60 plus years, (b) women receiving widow's allowance, under 60 years, (c) women receiving supplementary pension, 60 plus years and (d) women receiving supplementary allowance, under 60 years; and how many men have been cut off benefits, pensions and allowances as a result of the cohabitation rule.

The information available is as follows, given for the latest possible date. Records of disqualification do not show the age and sex of the beneficiaries.Widow's benefit: 1,722 disqualifications in year ended December 1987.Supplementary benefit: 8,152 disqualifications in year ended November 1987.

  • (i) Widow's benefit records include recipients of war widows' benefit but exclude industrial widows' benefit for which records are not kept centrally and the information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
  • (ii) Widow's benefit recipients over age 60 have concurrent title to retirement pension which does not carry a similar disqualification.