§ Mr. Andrew Bowden
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (I) whether residents of formal local authority part III homes, which are transferred to the private or voluntary sector between 25 June and when amending regulations regarding entitlement to income support take effect, will be eligible for higher levels of income support;
(2) whether residents of former local authority part III homes which were transferred to the private or voluntary sector before 25 June are eligible for higher levels of income support;
(3) whether residents of former local authority part III homes which are closed down are eligible for higher levels of income support.
§ Miss Widdecombe
Eligibility for income support is defined by regulations. Decisions regarding claims to benefit are made at a local level by independent adjudication officers who are provided with guidance on the interpretation of the regulations by the chief adjudication officer in the published adjudication officers' guide, a copy of which is in the Library.
The chief adjudication officer has recently issued advice to adjudication officers to help them decide claims from residents of homes which are transferred from local authority ownership to the private or voluntary sector pending the amendment of the regulations.
Where a local authority has accommodated a person under part III of the National Assistance Act 1948, responsibility for that person continues unless he no longer requires that accommodation. If a local authority home is closed the local authority would be under an obligation to find and pay for alternative accommodation for the residents.