§ Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what circumstances his Department pays social security benefit to a man in respect of maintenance due to his divorced wife.
§ Mr. Orme
Dependency increases of national insurance benefit are paid in respect of a man's divorced wife only where she is looking after children of the marriage and where, broadly speaking, he had been making prescribed contributions towards her maintenance and that of the children before he claimed benefit. Payment of the increase is subject to abatement on account of the woman's earnings and benefit claimed by the woman for herself and the children.
Supplementary benefit is not paid in these circumstances. If, however, a claimant receives a national insurance benefit which includes an amount in respect of separated dependants, it is the Supplementary Benefits Commission's practice to disregard that amount, provided it is paid over for their maintenance.