§ Ms. Armstrong
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will consider making women in refuges and who have suffered domestic violence a specific and high priority category of claimant for the purposes of discretionary payments under the social fund regulations;
(2) whether the community care grant will apply only to a party of a marriage who has become homeless as a result of marital breakdown or whether it will also cover situations where the applicant has previously been living with her/his partner as man and wife.
§ Mr. Scott
The guidance in the social fund manual, a copy of which is in the Library, makes it clear that 79W community care grants may be made where a relationship has ended and this includes both marital and non-marital relationships. This guidance gives priority to cases where there has been domestic violence and is therefore intended to cover the position of women in refuges.