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Benefit Payments

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of Social Security Agency customers have their benefits paid (a) directly into a bank or building society account, (b) via a Post Office card account, (c) by cheque and (d) in cash. (76679)

The information requested (at March 2006) is shown in the following table:

Method of payment

Percentage of social security agency customers

Direct payment into a bank or building society account

58.8

Via a Post Office card account

37.7

Cheque payment

3.5

Cash

?

Total

100

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the levels were of (a) fraud and (b) overall incorrect payment by the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency (i) income support, (ii) jobseeker’s allowance, (iii) disability living allowance, (iv) incapacity benefit, (v) carer’s allowance and (vi) retirement pension in 2005-06 (A) in monetary terms and (B) as a percentage of the total expenditure in each benefit programme. (76680)

The Social Security Agency now reports its findings based on calendar years. The following tables set out the information requested for the 2005 reporting year (January 2005 to December 2005).

Customer fraud

20051 (£ million)

Percentage of expenditure

Income support

11. 3

2.4

Jobseeker’s allowance

2.8

3.0

Disability living allowance

4.6

0.8

Incapacity benefit

3. 5

1.1

Carer’s allowance

5. 6

6.7

Retirement pension2

Minimal

Overall incorrectness (including fraud)

20051 (£ million)

Percentage of expenditure

Income support

25. 6

5.4

Jobseeker’s allowance

4. 1

4.4

Disability living allowance

54. 7

9.5

Incapacity benefit

13. 8

4.3

Carer’s allowance

7.5

9.0

Retirement pension2

9. 2

0.8

1 January to December 2005 2 This includes bereavement benefit