HC Deb 27 February 1976 vol 906 cc383-4W
Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the estimate of the numbers of chronically sick and disabled people aged under 15 years, over 15 years and under pensionable age and over pensionable age, respectively, who are (a) receiving supplementary benefits, (b) with incomes below supplementary benefit level and (c) with incomes no more than 10 per cent. above the supplementary benefit levels.

Mr. Alfred Morris,

pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 16th February 1976; Vol. 905, c. 554], circulated the following information:

I regret that information is not available in the form requested. People under age 16 do not qualify for supplementary benefit, and chronically sick or disabled people over pensionable age are not separately identified. At November 1974, the most recent date for which reasonably comprehensive information is available about supplementary allowance beneficiaries under pensionable age, over 200,000 recipients who were classified as sick or disabled had been in receipt of supplementary allowances for at least six months. There were, however, unknown numbers of sick and disabled people amongst other groups of supplementary allowance recipients, for example, among widows. Further, the numbers will have been affected by benefit changes since November 1974.

The Family Expenditure Survey for 1974 suggested that the net incomes of 20,000 families in which the head of the family had been sick or disabled for at least three months were below supplementary benefit level; and the net incomes of another 20,000 families were estimated to be above supplementary benefit level but within 10 per cent. of it. These estimates are subject to large sampling error; and the situation will in any case have been affected by subsequent changes.