HC Deb 07 May 1999 vol 330 c470W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy to provide national insurance credits that count towards the new national insurance contribution condition for incapacity benefit proposed in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill to working members of households in receipt of working families or disabled persons tax credits whose earnings are below the lower earnings limit; and if he will make a statement. [82705]

Mr. Bayley

There are two contribution conditions for Incapacity Benefit. The first condition requires a minimum number of paid contributions and cannot be satisfied by credits. The provisions in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Bill will change this condition so that the minimum number of contributions will need to have been paid in one of the two tax years before the claim for benefit rather than, as now, in any year.

The second contribution condition can be satisfied by credits. People on Disability Working Allowance (and, in future, Disabled Persons Tax Credit) who have earnings below the Lower Earnings Limit are given credits which count towards the second contribution condition. Family Credit (and, in future, Working Families Tax Credit) do not provide credits of this kind. The second contribution condition is unaffected by the provisions in the Bill.