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Social Security Benefits: Publicity

Volume 507: debated on Wednesday 17 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her policy is on the provision of (a) information and (b) information leaflets on (i) attendance allowance and (ii) other welfare benefits in (A) post offices, (B) libraries and (C) other public places. (322255)

There is currently no contractual agreement between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Post Office for the display of leaflets about attendance allowance or any welfare benefits.

While there is no national agreement for the display of leaflets at libraries, doctors surgeries, council offices and citizens advise bureaux there are a number of routes that ensure the availability of leaflets at these locations:

The Pension Service’s local service teams, located throughout England, Scotland and Wales, have local partnerships with external organisations and formally monitor the use and availability of leaflets at ‘Hard Copy Information Points’ on partner premises. They also share local knowledge and experience of which leaflets are the most popular and most useful to our customers.

The 62,000 subscribers to the Central Office of Information’s Publicity Register receive a quarterly magazine called ‘Touchbase’ which provides details of current and forthcoming information campaigns. Subscribers are also able to order leaflets directly from the Department through its on-line catalogue of information products.

The Department has a commercial agreement in place to provide key Pension Service and Disability and Carer Service leaflets in more than half of all doctors waiting rooms and pharmacies across the UK. The cost of this service is met directly by the Department and the information provided by it is available free of charge to the public.

Customers can also access the Department’s leaflets and the latest information about benefits and services online at the Directgov website.