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Social Security Benefits: Advisory Services

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funding his Department is making available for (a) voluntary sector organisations and (b) local authorities to provide advice on the availability of and eligibility for benefits in 2008-09. (244368)

The Department provides local authorities with housing benefit/council tax benefit (HB/CTB) administration subsidy. It is a targeted DWP specific grant paid to all 408 local authorities in Great Britain which helps meet the cost of administering HB/CTB. The overall administration subsidy allocation is £541 million for 2008-09. This subsidy covers the provision of advice on eligibility for benefits to potential claimants.

The Department and its agencies work in close partnership with voluntary sector organisations and local authorities to help people access the services and benefits to which they are entitled.

The Department itself does not provide any other regular sources of funding to either voluntary sector organisations or local authorities to provide advice on the availability of and eligibility for benefits.