§ Ms. Abbott
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what procedures are followed when claimants of supplementary benefit and unemployment benefit report that they have not received the Girocheque which has been sent to them; what are the average waiting times for replacement Girocheques in such cases in England and Wales as a whole, North London region and South London; and how the delays experienced in his Department's Hackney office and in unemployment benefit offices in Hackney compare with the national and regional figures.
§ Mr. Portillo
Claimants reporting non receipt of supplementary benefit Girocheques are requested to call at the local office to give details of the circumstances of non receipt and to sign an undertaking to return the Girocheque should it subsequently arrive. Immediate replacements are given if appropriate. If not, appropriate consideration of replacement is deferred until a search is made to establish if the original Girocheque has been cashed.
No local or central records are held of average waiting times for replacement Girocheques and to obtain such records would incur disproportionate cost.
Procedures for unemployment benefit Girocheques are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.