HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 c326W
Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the need to arrange communication support at personal adviser interviews does not delay the processing of benefit claims; [102244]

what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the requirement to provide properly qualified communication support for deaf claimants does not delay start-up or personal adviser interviews. 102245]

Angela Eagle

Personal advisers in the ONE service provide help and advice on work and benefits to individuals according to their own particular circumstances. We recognise that everyone is different and needs vary from one client to another. ONE pilot offices have trained staff and special facilities to aid people with special communication needs. For example, textphone facilities are available for people with severe hearing impairment and advisers are trained in their use. The services of a qualified interpreter or lipspeaker are available to clients attending a meeting with their personal adviser. All clients, including those with communication difficulties, will be offered a prompt initial meeting in order that claims can be dealt with quickly.