HC Deb 26 January 1984 vol 52 cc698-9W
Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total value of all supplementary benefit payments paid to claimants giving their address as Portia Centre, Maryport, Cumbria, since the ending of the direct payment system in August 1983.

Dr. Boyson

Direct payments of supplementary benefit for board and lodging charges were last made to Portia Centre, Maryport, Cumbria in early September 1983. The local office has estimated that since then a total of about £11,500 has been paid to supplementary benefit claimants while living at Portia Centre. The amount includes any contributory benefit where payment of that is combined with supplementary benefit.

Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the chief supplementary benefit officer has issued guidance to officers of his Department indicating that a sum of money held under trust for a vaccine damage payment should be totally disregarded for supplementary benefit purposes; and if he will make a statement.

Dr. Boyson

The supplementary benefit regulations provide that a vaccine damage payment held on trust for the dependant of a supplementary benefit claimant is to be wholly disregarded and guidelines to that effect have been issued by the chief supplementary benefit officer. Where the vaccine damaged person is the claimant or the partner of the claimant, the regulations provide that the payment may be disregarded for not normally more than 12 months, having regard to the intentions of the trustees in the case of persons aged 16 to 17 and, in any other case, where this is reasonable in the circumstances. Local offices are advised that such cases should be referred for consideration individually by the office of the chief supplementary benefit officer.

Mr. Ernie Ross

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now amend regulation 10 of the Supplementary Benefit Single Payments Regulations 1981 to ensure automatic availability to single payments for furniture and household equipment to any supplementary benefit claimant who obtains unfurnished accommodation.

Dr. Boyson

We have no plans to do so.