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Urgent Needs Payments

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on recovery of urgent needs payments made as a result of flood damage in Strabane, indicating what consideration was given to the questions referred to in 58602 (2) of the urgent cases regulation 25 under the Supplementary Benefit Act 1976, section 4(2).

[holding answer 29 March 1988]: The recovery of urgent needs payments made as a result of flood damage in Strabane is being considered in accordance with regulation 25 of the urgent cases regulations and with paragraph 8602 and other relevant paragraphs of the supplementary benefit manual.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the procedure instructions in code AX to adjudication officers in Northern Ireland regarding the manner and rate of recovery of an urgent needs payment and whether to abandon recovery.

[holding answer 29 March 1988]: The procedures for both the recovery and abandonment of recovery of urgent needs payments in Northern Ireland follow those in operation in the rest of the United Kingdom. They provide for recovery to be abandoned where the claimant's resources are at or below supplementary benefit level and there is no, or is unlikely to be, available capital or disregarded income from which recovery may be made. In those cases where recovery action is appropriate, repayment may be made either by a lump sum payment, where the claimant has available capital, or by instalments, or deduction from supplementary benefit or other prescribed benefits. In each case the rate of recovery is determined in relation to the claimant's resources and requirements. Where supplementary benefit is in payment the weekly rate of recovery is subject to an overriding limit of £10 where there is available capital, or half the weekly amount of disregarded income.Where supplementary benefit is not in payment, the weekly rate of recovery is limited to the amount by which resources exceed supplementary benefit requirements plus half of any disregarded income or £10 where there is available capital, subject to an overriding limit of one third of the claimants' personal benefit rate.