HC Deb 01 March 1978 vol 945 cc260-1W
Mrs. Chalker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many claims for (a) national insurance benefit of each type and (b) additions to each benefit were dismissed only on grounds of being outside time limits in each of the last five years; and what proportion of total claims these dismissed claims, and other dismissed claims, constitute.

Mr. Orme

, pursuant to his reply [Official Report, 8th February 1978; Vol. 943, c. 579–81], gave the following answer

The information, which is available only in respect of claims to unemployment benefit, is as follows:

Vol. 943, c. 579–81], gave the following answer

Benefits payable from the National Insurance Fund must be claimed within the following times from the day on which the conditions for entitlement were first satisfied:

  • Unemployment benefit—on the day for which benefit is claimed or on a specified day notified to the claimant by the Secretary of State;
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  • Sickness benefit, injury benefit, invalidity benefit—within 21 days where this is the first ever claim for the benefit; within six days of the first day in any subsequent spell of incapacity; and within 10 days where the claim is a continuation claim;
  • Maternity grant—from the 14th week before the confinement to three months after the confinement;
  • Maternity allowance—within three weeks from the beginning of the 14th week before expected confinement or, where the allowance is only claimed for the period beginning with the date of confinement, within three weeks from that date;
  • Increases to the above benefits in respect of dependants—one month;
  • Retirement pension, widow's benefit, child's special allowance, guardian's allowance, and increases to these benefits in respect of dependants—three months;
  • Death grant—six months—or such longer period as the Secretary of State may determine in the circumstances of any particular case—from the date of death;
  • Disablement benefit, industrial death benefit, increase of disablement pension on the grounds of unemployability, special hardship, need of constant attendance, or exceptionally severe disablement, and increases to these benefits in respect of dependants—three months.

The prescribed times can be extended for good cause for any delay in claiming but, except for death grant, disablement benefit and industrial death benefit, there is an absolute bar on the payment of benefit for a period more than 12 months before the date of claim.

Benefit information leaflets, made widely available through local offices and other outlets, and claims forms give details of the prescribed time limits and warn about possible loss of benefit if claiming is delayed.