§ Mr. Phillip Oppenheim
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied with the arrangements for payment of supplementary benefit to a claimant while arrangements are made to release funds from trusts in which the claimant has an interest;
(2) what discretion is used regarding the payment of interim supplementary benefit to a claimant while decisions are made on his claim;
(3) what guidance his Department issues to local offices concerning supplementary benefit claimants who are beneficiaries under trusts.
§ Dr. Boyson
The law on the treatment for supplementary benefit purposes of funds held on trust is set out in regulation 4 of the Supplementary Benefit (Resources) Regulations 1981 and we are satisifed that the policy which it reflects is in general a sensible one. The Chief Supplementary Benefit Officer has issued guidance on the interpretation of the relevant parts of the regulations and this is contained in paragraphs 6131–6168 of the S Manual which is publicly available and a copy of which is in the Library.
The payment of supplementary benefit by way of urgent need when it is not possible to determine a claim because essential information is not immediately available is governed by the Supplementary Benefit (Urgent Cases) Regulations 1981, in particular regulation 19. Guidance on the interpretation of this regulation is at paragraphs 8391–8393 of the S Manual.
§ Mr. Galley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the cost of abolishing the rule whereby all but £4 of war disabled benefits are discounted for supplementary benefit claimants.
§ Dr. Boyson
On the basis of the latest available information, it is estimated that the annual cost, including that arising from additional claims, of fully disregarding war disablement pensions would be of the order of £5 million.