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Social Security Benefits: Aberdeenshire

Volume 506: debated on Friday 5 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals are in receipt of (a) pension credit, (b) attendance allowance, (c) incapacity benefit and (d) jobseeker’s allowance in Banff and Buchan constituency; and what the average weekly level of each benefit received was in the latest period for which figures are available. (319346)

Attendance allowance provides an important non-contributory, non-income-related and tax free cash contribution towards the extra costs of severely disabled people. The Government are committed to providing real help to disabled people, particularly through the early stages of economic recovery. This is why the Chancellor announced in the December 2009 pre-Budget report that attendance allowance would be increased by 1.5 per cent.—bringing forward help when it is most needed. Without this commitment, the recent negative growth in the Retail Prices Index would have meant that this benefit would not have increased in 2010.

From 27 October 2008 we replaced incapacity benefits for new customers with the employment and support allowance and a revised medical assessment which focuses on what people can do, as well as what they cannot.

The principal function of pension credit is to tackle pensioner poverty by topping up the incomes of pensioners over 60 to the guaranteed minimum amount appropriate to their circumstances.

The information requested is in the table.

Number of cases in payment and average weekly payment of Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance and Jobseeker's Allowance in the Banff and Buchan constituency in August 2009

Benefit

Number of cases in payment

Average weekly amount paid (£)

Pension Credit (households)

4,570

48.81

Attendance Allowance

1,990

59.29

Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance

3,930

94.43

Jobseeker's Allowance

980

62.70

Notes:

1. Benefit recipients are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Average weekly amounts rounded to the nearest penny.

3. Benefit recipients receiving more than one of these benefits will be counted under each benefit.

4. Attendance allowance totals exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.

5. These data do not include claimants of employment and support allowance introduced from October 2008.

6. All data refer to benefit recipients and will therefore exclude credits only and nil payment cases.

7. Household is defined here as the number of individuals or couples in receipt of pension credit and equates to a “benefit unit” which, since 2006, also include same-sex partners. Two individuals who are not partners but live in the same house are counted as separate households.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.