HC Deb 15 February 2000 vol 344 cc505-6W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what benefits are available to men aged between 60 and 65 years who are out of work and seeking employment. [109679]

Angela Eagle

There is a range of Social Security benefits available to help meet a variety of needs. Entitlement to these benefits depends upon the individual circumstances of each case.

Men in this age group may claim either Jobseeker's Allowance or Income Support, subject to the normal conditions of entitlement, to help meet day-to-day living costs. National Insurance credits may also be awarded to men aged 60–64 if they are not liable to pay contributions or do not receive credits by another route. The credits awarded will count towards Retirement Pension.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, which are intended to help meet eligible rent or council tax liability, and payments from the Social Fund may also be available. Again, this would be subject to the normal conditions of entitlement. Other help may be available through the benefit system, but this would very much depend upon the circumstances of the individual and whether the basic conditions of entitlement to the particular benefit had been met.

People in this age group who are unemployed or economically inactive and who have been receiving certain benefits (including Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance) for six months or more may also have access to a package of back-to-work help through the New Deal 50 plus, which was launched in nine pathfinder areas in October last year and will be available nationally from April 2000.