HC Deb 03 July 1987 vol 118 cc186-7W
Mr. Fatchett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people in the Leeds, Central constituency are currently in receipt of (a) supplementary benefit, (b) invalidity benefit, (c) housing benefit, (d) sickness benefit, (e) mobility allowance and (f) maternity benefits; and how many people have received single payments in the current financial year.

Mr. Portillo

The Leeds, Central constituency is covered by the Department's local offices at Leeds, east, north, and north-west, but the boundaries are not conterminous. The table shows the number of people receiving benefit from those offices on the latest date for which information is available:

At 5 May 1987 At 2 June 1987
Supplementary Benefit 149,476
Invalidity and Sickness Benefit 9,640
Maternity Allowance 719
1 Source 100 per cent, count of cases of action.

In the period from 8 April 1987 to 5 May 1987 there have been 3,582 awards of single payments.

I regret that information about mobility allowance is not available and that the only information on housing benefit relates to the entire Leeds city council area, and cannot he disaggregated by constituency.

Mrs. Ann Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services when he expects to lay claims and payments regulations covering all social security benefits.

Mr. Scott

Copies of draft Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations on claims for and payments of all social security benefits are today being placed in the Library. They set out the common rules which the Government intend will operate from the start of the income support and family credit schemes in April 1988. The draft regulations are being made available to assist preparations for the implemention of the schemes and will be laid before Parliament when final decisions have been taken on the income-related benefit rates in the autumn.

The regulations which harmonise and simplify many of the existing rules governing benefit claims and payments introduce several new rules, one of which will limit to one month the period during which benefit can be suspended while the adjudication officer is deciding whether to appeal from a decision of the social security appeal tribunal. A further proposed change is that when the adjudication officer decides that payments on behalf of someone in receipt of income support may be made to a third party for housing costs, fuel costs and water charges, deductions may be made from a range of contributory and non-contributory benefits.

The revised time limits for claiming benefits recommended in the report of the Social Security Advisory Committee in March 1987 (Cm 100) have been incorporated in the regulations and in themselves introduce a considerable simplification in the administration of the social security benefits system.