§ Mr. Fallon
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what moneys have been allocated by his Department to publicise the severe disablement allowance; what media advertising has been undertaken; what results have been achieved; and whether he is satisfied with the take-up.
§ Mr. Newton
I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) on 23 October at column570–71. As a direct result of the publicity campaign we have already received over 38,000 requests for leaflets and claim forms and, as at 23 October, some 2,500 claims for severe disablement allowance had been received in the Department's local offices. The success of the advertising campaign is also reflected in the significant increase in the number of claims for the existing non-contributory invalidity pension and housewives' non-contributory invalidity pension.
The publicity campaign has been backed up by the special exercise to invite claims for non-contributory invalidity pension from those currently drawing supplementary benefit. As at 23 October, some 56,600 invitations had been issued, and 31,600 claims had been received of which 16,300 have so far resulted in awards of benefit.