§ Mr. Caborn
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is regarded as an acceptable number of refusals of furnished accommodation for those wishing to claim single payments for essential furniture and so on for unfurnished accommodation from his Department.
§ Dr. Boyson
The independent adjudicating authorities are responsible for interpreting the supplementary benefit regulations. The Chief Adjudication Officer recently issued guidance (circular S 8/84, a copy of which is in the Library) to local and regional adjudication officers on the rule that single payments for essential furniture and household equipment may be made to certain groups of claimant moving into unfurnished accommodation only if no suitable alternative furnished accommodation is available. The guidance makes it clear that the number of addresses which it will be reasonable to expect the claimant to have tried will depend on the general availability of furnished accommodation in the area.
§ Mr. Caborn
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applications for payments for essential furniture and so on for unfurnished accommodation have been made to his Department in the Sheffield area for the past year; how many have been granted; and what is the average figure paid.