HC Deb 17 October 1972 vol 843 cc36-7W
Mrs. Doris Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider the introduction of amending legislation to enable a widow who is fully employed and pays national insurance contributions on her own account to receive sickness benefit during illness.

Mr. Dean

No. I do not think we should depart from the general principle that only one flat-rate maintenance benefit is payable at a time. The earnings-related supplement normally payable with sickness benefit can be paid with the widow's pension during sickness, and if the flat-rate sickness benefit would be greater than her widow's pension, she can also receive the balance. She need not pay flat-rate contributions unless she considers that they will give her a worthwhile benefit.