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Benefits, Ayr

Volume 227: debated on Friday 2 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what was the number of sickness benefit claims at Ayr benefit office for each month from April 1992 to date;(2) how many claimants there were at the Ayr benefit office for

(a) unemployment benefit and (b) sickness benefit on 1 April 1991, 1992 and 1993.

The administration of benefits is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. George Foulkes, dated 1 July 1993:

As Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency it is my responsibility to answer questions about relevant operational matters. I am therefore replying to your recent Parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for Social Security asking about the number of sickness benefit and unemployment benefit claims at the Ayr Benefit Office.

I have provided information which represents the Ayr District Office (DO) as a whole. The District includes branch offices at Ayr, Cumnock, Dumfries and Stranraer but it is not possible to break the figures down into the separate branches within the district.

Table A. shows the monthly live load for sickness benefit for the Ayr District Office as at May 1991, the first date for which figures are available, and the first of each month from April 1992.

I am unable to provide you with figures for unemployment benefit and would refer you to the Secretary of State for Employment whose responsibility these are. I can however, supply you with the number of customers registered as unemployed and claiming income support at the Ayr DO. These figures are collated on a quarterly basis and I have therefore supplied you with figures for the relevant quarters. These are shown at Table B. I would like to explain that the figures quoted for sickness benefit are obtained from a 100 per cent. clerical count in the office. The income support figures are a 100 per cent. count combined from those actioned through the computer system and any remaining clerical casework.

I hope you find this reply helpful. A copy will appear in the Official Report and a copy will also be placed in the Library.

Table A.

Sickness Benefit Claims1


May 1991961
April 19921,099
May 19921,245
June 19921,194
July 19921,220
August 19921,206
September 19921,268
October 19921,259
November 19921,314
December 19921,289
January 19931,291
February 19931,312
March 19931,356
April 19931,378
May 19931,380
1 Figures refer to the last working day of the previous month

Table B.

Income Support claims from unemployed persons1


May 19915,456
May 19925,645
May 19936,121

1Figures are as at the quarter ending 31 May.