HC Deb 24 May 1965 vol 713 cc18-9
23. Mr. Murray

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether she will improve the arrangements for informing the parents of children who are not employable of the children's rights in relation to National Assistance benefits when they reach the statutory age.

Miss Herbison

I have no reason to believe that parents are generally unaware of the fact that such children have a right to claim National Assistance allowances when they reach the age of 16. I am however considering, in consultation with the National Assistance Board, what more should be done to ensure that all parents of handicapped young children aged 16 or over are informed of this right and encouraged to apply on their behalf.

Mr. Murray

Is my right hon. Friend aware that if she consulted the Minister of Health it might be possible to obtain a register of handicapped children, in consultation with some of the voluntary societies, such as the Spastics Society, so as to avoid the problem which arose in my constituency, where a family came to me only because the Income Tax allowance was being cut at the age of 16 and they were not aware of the statutory rights which exist for National Assistance on behalf of these children?

Miss Herbison

I shall certainly be willing to give consideration to my hon. Friend's suggestion. At present, the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children provides information services to its members, and the National Assistance Board from time to time has contributed to the news sheet of that association. Articles have also been reproduced in journals of voluntary organisations that cater for groups of disabled young people, especially spastics. Many efforts have been made to date by the National Assistance Board, but I shall also give consideration to my hon. Friend's suggestion.