§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce legislation requiring local authorities to help supplementary benefit claimants with their rent within 14 days of them receiving a housing benefit certificate.
§ Mr. Lyell
The Housing Benefit Regulations 1985 already require local authorities to make a first payment of housing benefit to supplementary benefit recipients within 14 days of receipt of a certificate or as soon as possible afterwards. The regulations also provide that if a local authority is unable to determine a supplementary benefit recipient's entitlement to a rent allowance within 14 days it must make interim payments on the basis of the available information unless no information about rent has been provided.