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Widow's Benefit

Volume 264: debated on Friday 20 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will amend regulation 35 of schedule 9 to the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987 to include widow's benefit as a specified benefit; and if he make a statement. [38173]

No. We have no plans to extend the scope of this regulation, which allows for direct payment of income support to third parties, to other benefits.Direct payments take away people's responsibility to manage their own affairs and are expensive to administer. For both reasons, they ought to be kept to a minimum. There is, however, a provision which allows a person's benefit, or part of it, to be paid to another person—but not to a local authority or corporate body—in cases of budgeting difficulty.