To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what steps he has taken to monitor the effects of refusal of applications by young people for payment of income support to prevent severe hardship.
The Department is not in a position to monitor the effects in the manner suggested. Young people who are not entitled to income support under the severe hardship provision are sent a letter giving advice to claim again should their circumstances change, or if they think they are entitled to benefit because a decision was made in ignorance of a material fact or as a result of an error as to fact. Currently more than 80 per cent. of applicants are successful.