HC Deb 23 July 1975 vol 896 cc244-5W
Mr. St. John-Stevas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will now determine the conditions which must be fulfilled in order that disabled housewives may receive the invalidity pension to which they are now entitled under the Social Security Benefits Act 1975.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The Social Security Act 1975 requires that, to qualify for a non-contributory invalidity pension, a married woman housewife must be incapable of paid employment, which is the normal incapacity benefit test, and also incapable of housework, which is an additional condition that relates the normal test to her home occupation. The incapacity must have lasted for at least 28 weeks. This is to maintain parity with the contributory incapacity benefit, which has a 28-week qualifying period. The necessary regulations will be made, and the many detailed arrangements required will be worked out, after the further study that is needed and in the light of discussions which the Department is having with members of the all-party Disablement Group in the House and with the Disablement Income Group.