HC Deb 04 March 1994 vol 238 cc44-5W
Mr. Ron Davies

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his reply of 11 February,Official Report, columns 499–500, concerning children in families in receipt of invalidity benefit, what is the earliest year for which such information is available.

Mr. Scott

The earliest date for which information is available is 31 March 1984. The information is as followsNumber of child dependency increases in payment to invalidity benefit recipients in Wales 23,000.

Source: 1 per cent. sample of claimants in Great Britain, rounded to the nearest thousand.

Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will ensure that any appellants against having their invalidity benefit terminated should, if they so wish, be entitled to a professional advocate to speak on their behalf at any hearing, without the cost of such representation falling on the appellants or their families.

Mr. Scott

Appeals against decisions on invalidity benefit are heard by a social security appeal tribunal. The hearings are intended to be informal, with the tribunal and the presenting officer assisting the appellant to make his or her case. In these circumstances the provision of an advocate would be inappropriate.