HC Deb 18 February 1988 vol 127 cc696-7W
Mr. Andrew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services whether urgent case payments will still be available to those denied unemployment and supplementary benefit on grounds of being unavailable for work after the proposed change in leglislation on 11 April.

Mr. Portillo

At present the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 make no provision for payment of income support to a person who is required to be available for work as a condition of receiving income support but is found by an adjudication officer to be not available.

However, the Government plan amendment of the regulations so that payment of income support at a reduced rate can be paid to such a person if hardship would otherwise be caused to that person or to a member of his or her family.

Mr. Andrew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services how, in view of his intention to substitute crisis loans for urgent case payments, he envisages such loans will be repaid; and if he will estimate the likely number of people who will be affected.

Mr. Scott

Where appropriate, social fund crisis loans will be recovered from future payments of certain social security benefits made to the recipient of the loan. Other arrangements for repayment will be made with recipients of crisis loans who are not in receipt of benefit. No firm estimates of numbers of crisis loans can be given in advance of experience.