§ Mr. Kirkwood
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will now publish the rules governing the eligibility for supplementary benefit of residents of private and voluntary homes; and how these rules affect topping up funds where home charges are in excess of the national limit of his Department.
§ Mr. Newton
The rules governing entitlement to supplementary benefit are set out in the supplementary benefit regulations. The specific provisions for determining the requirements of people in private and voluntary homes are contained in the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements) Regulations 1983 (as amended by the Supplementary Benefit (Requirements and Resources) Miscellaneous Provisions (No. 2) Regulations 1985). Guidance for adjudication officers on the interpretation of these regulations is contained in circular S 13/85.
Information on local authorities' powers in respect of residents whose charges are in excess of the supplementary benefit limits is contained in LASSL (86)1. Copies of the regulations, the guidance to local offices and the local authority circular are in the Library.
§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will instigate an inquiry as a matter of urgency into the treatment of supplementary benefit claimants in a number of private homes in Merseyside and north Wales.
§ Mr. Whitney
The Registered Homes Act 1984 places responsibility for registering and inspecting residential care homes on local authority social services departments. I would suggest therefore that the hon. Member pursues his inquiries with the local authorities concerned.