HL Deb 04 October 2000 vol 616 cc220-1WA
Earl Russell

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they now have information on how many people have been refused a Sure Start Maternity Grant because they have not taken advice from an approved health professional. [HL3454]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

During the period April-August 2000, 68,615 applications for the Sure Start Maternity Grant were received; of these 12,477 claims were refused. This figure includes 3,864 applications which were disallowed because a health professional's certificate was either not submitted or was submitted in an incomplete state. We are confident that the vast majority of those initially refused for no certification go on to make further successful applications. We are conducting further research on this issue.

Five thousand, two hundred and seventy-six were refused because the applicant was not in receipt of a qualifying benefit; 1,937 were refused because the claim was made too early; 511 as the result of a maternity payment award being deducted from a Sure Start Maternity Grant award during the transitional period and 181 because their savings exceeded the permitted limit. These figures are in line with those of the previous year.