§ Mr. Paul Dean
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what proposals he has for helping young people aged 16 to 17 years to qualify for supplementary benefit where they are disabled or in local authority care.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Following discussions in Committee on the Social Security Bill, I am pleased to announce that regulations to be made under the Supplementary Benefits Act will, from November this year, enable young people aged 16–17 who are receiving non-contributory invalidity pension to count their period in receipt of NCEP towards qualification for the longterm rate of supplementary benefit. The regulations will also enable young people aged 16 or over in local authority care to qualify for supplementary benefit whether or not they are in a local authority home; their requirements will be assessed in most cases in the same way as those of a non-householder.