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Social Fund

Volume 202: debated on Friday 24 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security on what date he expects to receive the report of the Social Security Advisory Committee on the social fund.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give most recent figures for reasons for refusals from the social fund for (a) budgeting loans, (b) crisis loans and (c) community care grants.

The figures for December 1991 are shown in the tables.

Budgeting loan
Reason for refusalNumber
Loan refused as Community Care Grant awarded4,401
Not receiving Income Support4,565
Not receiving Income Support for 26 weeks12,750
Excluding Item(s)1,325
Previous application and SFO decision for the item2,272
Inability to repay2,209
Insufficient priority12,267
Other reasons2,750
Crisis loans
Reason for refusalNumber
Excluded item(s)101
Previous application and SFO decision for the item171
No serious damage or risk to health or safety3,202
Suitable alternative available133
Help available from another source305
Enough money for a crisis114
Inability to repay433
Insufficient priority194
Other reasons732
Community care grants
Reason for refusalNumber
Savings over £500 sufficient to meet cost113
Not in receipt of income support and unlikely to become entitled4,282
Excluded item(s)1,414
Excluded applicant384
Amount less than £30, not travelling expenses245
Previous application and SFO decision for the item2,164
Insufficient priority5,279
Direction 4 not satisfied39,253
Other reasons1,483

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how much was left in each of the local office social fund budgets on Merseyside in November and December; and whether any offices received or applied for additional resources.

The administration of the social fund is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member and copies will be placed in the Library and the Public Information Office.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people who seek a review of a social fund decision received a favourable decision at (a) social fund officer level and (b) social fund inspector level.

Information on the number of decisions revised in the applicant's favour for the period 1 April to 31 December 1991 is shown in the table.

Numbers
Number of decisions by Social Fund officer44,487
Number of decisions substituted by Social Fund inspector2,981

Notes:

1. Figures refer to numbers of cases not numbers of people.

2. Decisions revised at social fund officer level include cases referred back by social fund inspectors for re-determination by higher executive officer (social fund).