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Benefit Claims/Payments

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the duration of claims of (a) those on incapacity benefit, (b) those on other disability benefits, (c) lone parents on income support and (d) others on income support was in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [114482]

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 9 June 2003, Official Report, column 387, on the payment of benefits, how many pensioners have (a) received invitations to change to direct payment, (b) responded and (c) chosen to be paid via a (i) bank account, (ii) basic bank account and (iii) post office card account; and if he will make a statement on the nature of the responses received from those pensioners who did not opt for a post office card account. [120380]

As at 6 June 2003, 148,148 pensioners have been invited to change to Direct Payment and 86,828 have responded so far. Of these, 42,241 pensioners have provided bank or building society account details (we do not distinguish between basic and current accounts) and 42,603 have requested a post office card account.The Department is providing all customers with the information they need on all of their "account options", including those that can be used at post office branches. It is for customers themselves to decide which type of account will best meet their needs and circumstances.