§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement about the Chief 571W Adjudication Officer's annual report for 1987–88 in respect of his comments on supplementary benefit claims, urgent need payments, sickness benefits and industrial disablement benefit.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
The chief adjudication officer's annual report for 1987–88 makes it clear that there were certain areas of the supplementary benefit scheme which were complicated to administer and to understand. The advent of income support in April 1988 has resulted in a simplification of the benefit system. Furthermore under income support the urgent cases provisions referred to are no longer present. A direct result of the changes is that the chief adjudication officer has noted that he finds that the overall level of performance on income support is encouraging.
The chief adjudication officer's report also identified that there is still room for improvement in the standard of adjudication on sickness benefit and disablement benefit. Further guidance will be issued where it is considered appropriate.