§ Mr. Meacher
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is currently the average length of time in settling queries about family allowance payments referred to Newcastle; what was the average delay respectively five and 10 years ago; how these delays in settling family allowance queries compare with those in settling other benefit queries; and what arrangements are made to cover claimants in the meantime.
§ Mr. Dean
No information is available about family allowance queries relating to payments; average times could be misleading, since many cases are settled within a week or two but others necessarily take months, for example when information from overseas is needed, or from separated parents who are in dispute. The position is similar as regards other benefits. As to the action pending settlement, where a question relates to an increase in the amount, the family allowance order book is left in payment; in the case of new claims, if title for part of the claim can be established the appropriate amount is put into payment straight away, while inquiry about the remainder of the claim continues. Where supplementary benefit is payable the
1972 1967 1962 7957 1952 Number of retirement pensioners whose entitlement to supplementary pension is affected by occupational pension … … 168,000 75,000 37,000 21,000 13,000 Number of retirement pensioners whose entitlement to supplementary pension is affected by resources other than occupational pension … … 149,000 114,000 137,000 119,000 87,000 No record is kept of the number of supplementary pensions affected by retirement pension increments.
is amount may be increased to take account of the family allowance or other benefit still under consideration.