§ Mr. Douglas-Mann
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received concerning the new form A 14N "How your benefit is worked out" which has replaced the form in use previously that contained more information.47W
§ Mrs. Chalker
Form A14N did not replace the full explanation of assessment—form Al24—which is still issued on request, but is an additional explanation issued automatically to claimants. Recently the social security advisory committee invited comment on the revised supplementary benefit scheme. Twenty-three out of 56 respondents made comments on form A14N, which have been referred to the Department. Two other representations have been made direct to the Department. In general the introduction of form A14N was welcomed, but comments suggested that it did not provide enough information, especially on the calculations of benefit to meet housing costs and of resources taken into account. The Department's policy inspectorate recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of the form which will be revised in the light of its report and of the representations that have been made.
§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the amount currently being spent on unemployment pay and on the various classes of social security benefit, including supplementary assistance, all at an annual rate.
§ Mrs. Chalker
The information requested is as follows:
Benefit Estimated Expenditure in 1981–82 (£ million) Retirement pensions 12,048 Widows benefits 704 Unemployment benefit 1,983 Invalidity benefits 1,265 Sickness benefit 564 Maternity benefits 178 Death grant 17 Injury benefit 44 Disablement benefits (Industrial Injuries) 323 Death benefit (Industrial Injuries) 47 Other benefits (Industrial Injuries) 5 Christmas bonus for pensioners etc. 104 Old persons' pensions 39 War pensions 482 Attendance allowance and ICA 291 Non-Contributory invalidity pension 126 Mobility allowance 168 Supplementary benefit 4,623 Child benefit 3,474 Family Income Supplement 59 Total 26,544
§ Sir Brandon Rhys Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the total estimated cost in the current financial year at 1981 cash prices, of administering all the welfare benefits for which his Department is responsible.
§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, when answering the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk)—Official Report, c. 159–160, 16 December 1981, the Under-Secretary made any allowance for inflation between November 1978 and April 1979 in order to compare real values of social security benefit years between the annual upratings.48W
§ Mrs. Chalker
No. That reply gave the rates of benefits payable in April 1979, revalued to November 1981 prices, as requested in the question of the hon. Member for Ormskirk (Mr. Kilroy-Silk), using for these purposes the general index of retail prices. The tables in section 5 of the DHSS abstract of statistics for index of retail prices, average earnings, social security benefits and contributions have recently been updated to show for each uprating date the equivalent value of the principal benefit rates at November 1981 prices. A copy of the abstract incorporating the revised tables is held in the Library.
§ Mr. Race
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list (a) the number of applications for leave to appeal to the social security commissioners regarding supplementary benefit, (b) the number of applications for leave to appeal in supplementary benefit cases which were granted by the social security commissioners, (c) the number of appeals made subsequently to the commissioners, (d) the number of appeals heard so far by the social security commissioners and (e) the number of cases outstanding before the commissioners awaiting (i) leave to appeal or (ii) an appeal decision together with the average length of time they have been outstanding, broken down into cases taken by claimants or their representatives and cases taken by the benefit officer.
§ Mrs. Chalker
[pursuant to her reply, Official Report, 22 December 1981, Vol. 15, c. 378]: The information requested about appeals to the social security commissioners on supplementary benefit matters—as at 18 December 1981—is as follows:
- a. There have been 1, 045 applications for leave to appeal—944 by claimants or their representatives and 101 by benefit officers;
- b. 205 applications have been allowed—115 by claimants and 90 by benefit officers;
- c. 163 appeals have been made subsequently—75 by claimants and 88 by benefit officers;
- d. 61 appeals have been heard—29 by claimants and 32 by benefit officers;
- e. i. 617 cases are still awaiting leave to appeal—610 by claimants and seven by benefit officers—and they have been outstanding on average for 13 weeks and seven weeks respectively;
- e. ii. 102 cases are awaiting an appeal decision—46 by claimants and 56 by benefit officers—and they have been outstanding on average for 15 weeks and 17 weeks respectively.