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Social Security Benefits

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the likely change in the number of postal claims for (a) jobseeker’s allowance, (b) incapacity benefit and (c) income support as a result of closures of jobcentres or Jobcentre Plus offices, in each region. (185873)

The administration of these benefits is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Leslie Strathie, dated 4 March 2008:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what estimate he has made of the increase in postal claims for (a) Jobseeker’s Allowance (b) Incapacity Benefit and (c) Income Support as a result of planned closures of Jobcentres or Jobcentre Plus Offices, broken down by region. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

We do not have a postal claim scheme for these three benefits. For the vast majority of claimants, the initial claim to these benefits will be made by a telephone call to a Contact Centre. For those vulnerable customers who are unable to make contact by telephone, the claim will be taken at a face-to-face interview.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed each type of benefit in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) England in each year since 1979; and what percentage those people were of the population in each area in each year. (186990)

Information is not available prior to 2002. The available information has been placed in the Library.