HC Deb 04 April 1950 vol 473 cc990-1
30. Miss Bacon

asked the Minister of National Insurance if she is aware that a woman living apart from her husband is regarded as a married woman for the payment of benefits under the National Insurance Act; and, since this imposes hardship in many cases, if she will arrange for such women to be regarded as single unless adequately maintained by their husbands.

Dr. Summerskill

Under the law as it stands a woman who is living apart from her husband receives the single woman's rate of benefit if she is unable to obtain any financial assistance from him. Any change in the position would require legislation, but I am watching carefully the application of the present rule to individual cases.

Miss Bacon

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in a case which I brought to her notice, the husband pays only 10s. a week to his wife, and yet that is considered as maintenance, and the wife receives the lower rate of sickness benefit?

Dr. Summerskill

Yes, Sir.