HC Deb 26 June 1989 vol 155 cc309-10W
Mr. Soames

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the regulations governing the treatment of earnings from the Territorial Army for unemployed males receiving benefit.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Unemployed people receiving earnings from the Territorial Army arc most likely to be in receipt of unemployment benefit, income support and housing benefit. The main provisions dealing with the treatment of these earnings in each benefit are as follows.

The regulation governing the effect on unemployment benefit of earnings specifically from the Territorial Army is regulation 3(3) of the Social Security (Computation of Earnings) Regulations 1978. Under this regulation no account is taken of annual bounty and payment in respect of attendance at the first 16 authorised drill nights each year. Further payments are subject to regulation 7(1)(g)(i) of the Social Security (Unemployment, Sickness and Invalidity Benefit) Regulations 1983, under which a day is not treated as a day of unemployment if earnings for that day exceed £2.

For unemployed reservists receiving income support or housing benefit, the weekly amount of the earnings and the period for which they are to he taken into account are determined by reference to regulations 29, 31 and 32 of the Income Support (General) Regulations, and regulations 21 and 25 of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations. Payments made in respect of income tax, class 1 national insurance contributions and half of any sum paid by an employee towards an occupational or personal pension scheme are disregarded under regulation 36(3) of the Income Support (General) Regulations 1987 and regulation 29(3) of the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987. The first £15 of weekly earnings is also disregarded under paragraph 7(1) of schedule 8 to the income support regulations and paragraph 6(1) of schedule 3 to the housing benefit regulations.

The annual bounty paid to reservists is treated as capital under Income Support (General) Regulation 48 and Housing Benefit (General) Regulation 40(1) and does not affect entitlement as long as the total capital held does not exceed £3,000.

For income support only, reservists attending annual training camp are normally treated as being in remunerative work and are not entitled to benefit in accordance with regulation 5 of the Income Support (General) Regulations. Earnings arising from this period are ignored completely on reclaiming benefit under the provision of paragraph 1 of schedule 8 to the regulations.