HC Deb 27 February 1984 vol 55 cc63-4W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will state (a) the different types of exceptional needs payments and exceptional circumstances additions paid to supplementary benefit recipients (b) the average value per recipient of exceptional needs payments and exceptional circumstances additions and (c) what percentage of average benefit payments the total figure represents.

Dr. Boyson

The different types of single payment which people on supplementary benefit can claim are set out in the Supplementary Benefit (Single Payments) Regulations. The additional requirements to which claimants may be entitled are listed in schedule 4 to the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements) Regulations. Copies of the regulations are in the Library.

In the financial year 1982–83 about 1.54 million single payments were made at an average cost of £63.18. Expenditure on single payments represented about 1.5 per cent. of expenditure on supplementary benefit. In December 1982 about 2.66 million claimants were entitled to additional requirements. The average value was £3.11.

Additional requirements form part of a claimant's total requirements for the purpose of assessing his entitlement to benefit, but the amount of benefit actually paid depends on the extent to which the claimant's income falls short of his total requirements. It is not therefore possible to say what proportion of weekly supplementary benefit paid was for additional requirements.