HC Deb 23 June 1998 vol 314 cc494-5W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidance she has issued to the Benefits Agency on access to benefits for people with learning disabilities who are in the care of a health trust but who have been discharged from hospital beds. [47286]

Mr. Denham

There has been no special guidance issued to the Benefits Agency (BA) about access to benefits for people with learning difficulties who have been discharged from hospital beds but who remain under the care of an NHS Trust.

The BA is currently overhauling its leaflet programme in line with Active Modern Service. It is aimed to make the material simpler and much more customer focused, giving a better entry point into the Social Security system. The first set of products is due to be launched around October 1998.

There is a core series of leaflets which provide general information on disability benefits (FB2—Which benefit?, FB4—Young Peoples Guide to Social Security, and FB28—Sick or Disabled). Specific benefit leaflets to which these general leaflets refer, together with others on specific topics like being in hospital are also available (IS1 & IS20—Income Support, IB202—Incapacity Benefit, NI252—Severe Disablement Allowance, DS702—Attendance Allowance, DS704— Disability Living Allowance, NI6—Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and NI9—Going into hospital).

The Benefit Inquiry Line gives general disability benefit advice over the telephone while the Agency's network of local offices advises about any benefit or pension.