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Social Security Benefits: Offenders

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what state benefits offenders in England and Wales are eligible for while serving (a) community service sentences and (b) custodial sentences. (178705)

[holding answer 29 January 2008]: Convicted offenders serving community service sentences are entitled to any benefits for which they qualify, in the same way as any other person.

In general, DWP benefits are not payable to convicted prisoners in custody. However, since 1995 and subject to certain qualifying conditions, those serving short sentences of 13 weeks or less may continue to receive housing benefit and council tax benefit. This ensures that people with very short sentences do not become homeless upon release.