§ 47. Mr. Butterfill
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security which categories of claimants or potential claimants he has identified as being in greatest need.
§ Mr. Peter Lloyd
We recognised that less well-off families with children—those on income-related benefits-needed extra help. Income support and housing benefit include premiums providing extra help to families, lone parents and disabled children. Family credit provides more generous help to working families with modest earnings. In all three benefits, the amounts provided for children vary with their ages. In this year's uprating extra help, over and above the £2.1 billion needed to maintain the value of benefits, of 50p per child per week (worth £70 million in total) was provided for some 3 million children living in around 1.5 million families.
Income support and housing benefit include premiums recognising the extra needs of pensioners and disabled claimants. The independent living fund provides financial help to enable severely disabled people who are receiving income support or have low incomes to pay for the personal care and domestic support they need to maintain an independent life in the community.42W
From July we are introducing measures to provide extra help for 16 and 17-year-olds who are forced to live independently which is worth up to £6.60 a week for these on income support and up to £5.61 a week for those on housing benefits only. From October we are directing extra help to elderly and disabled pensioners, costing nearly £200 million in a full year and worth up to £2.50 a week for single people and up to £3.50 for couples.