HC Deb 03 July 1989 vol 156 cc39-40W
21. Mr. Andrew Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people are in receipt of social security benefits.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

There are a large number of different social security benefits serving different purposes and giving different sorts of help to different groups of people. The estimated average numbers receiving each of the various benefits in 1988–89 are:

Retirement Pension 9,720
Widows' benefit 385
Unemployment benefit 620
Sickness benefit 110
Invalidity benefit 1,130
Industrial disablement benefit 210
Industrial death benefit 25
Maternity allowance 15
Non-contributory retirement pension 35
War pension 255
Attendance allowance 760
Invalid care allowance 100
Severe disablement allowance 265
Mobility allowance 530
Income Support 4,215
Child benefit—numbers of children1 12,030
Child benefit—number of families 6,755
One parent benefit 680
Family credit 285
Housing benefit2
rent rebate 3,100
rent allowance 925
rate rebate3 5,105
1 Numbers of children in families receiving child benefit, including those also receiving one parent benefit.
2 Most households getting assistance with rent will also be in receipt of a rate rebate.
3 Includes estimates of people receiving community charge rebates in Scotland.

At any one time, people can receive more than one social security benefit and there are cases where people (eg parents) receive benefits for others (children). In 1987, the latest year for which an estimate is available, social security benefits made some contribution to the incomes or family incomes of some 38 million men, women and children—about 70 per cent of the population of Great Britain.

26. Mr. Michael

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he will make it his policy to commence payment to anyone granted(a) housing benefit or (b) any other form of social security benefit with effect from the date from which the need for that benefit can be shown to date.

Mr. Scott

No. There are prescribed times for claiming housing benefit and other social security benefits some of which may be extended for up to 12 months before the date of claim where the claimant proves there was good cause for the failure to claim timeously.