§ Mr. Ashdown
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women in Britain have been excluded from receiving widow's benefit owing to new regulations effective from 11 April 1988; and how many women in Britain are receiving a reduced amount of widow's benefit in relation to that paid prior to 11 April 1988.
§ Mr. Tony Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many women who would otherwise have been eligible are estimated to have lost their entitlement to widow's pension because of the raising of the age limit from 40 to 45 years; and, of these, how many actually qualified for widow's allowance but were then disqualified by their age from receiving a widow's pension.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
[holding answer 19 January 1989]Latest estimates* indicate that during 1988–89 approximately 2,500 women, who would otherwise have been eligible, will have lost their entitlement to widow's pension because of the raising age limit from 40 to 45 years. Approximately 600 women will have qualified for widow's allowance but will then have been disqualified by their age618W
Period ended (1988) Cumulative number of directions1,2 30 September 234 28 October 545 25 November 980 30 December 1,637 1 Figures relate to the number of decisions rather than to the number of individuals involved. Some individuals may have had more than one decision made in respect of them. 2 Severe hardship directions are for variable periods.