HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 c71WS
Mr. Blizzard

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will issue guidance for determining when it is reasonable not to be paid for voluntary work, in relation to entitlement to income support. [132678]

Mr. Pond

For benefit purposes, the legal definition of a volunteer is "someone who is engaged by a charity or voluntary organisation or is a volunteer where the only payment received or due is the reimbursement of actual expenses incurred during their activity". Volunteers need to continue to satisfy the conditions of entitlement to benefit but subject to this can do voluntary work. Actual expenses incurred or to he incurred can be disregarded for benefit purposes.

Guidance relating to people receiving benefit who engage in voluntary work is contained in Volume 4, Chapter 21, Paragraph 21168 and Volume 5, Chapter 28, paragraph 28389 of the Decision Makers Guide copies of which are in the Library.

Mr. Webb

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many lone parents are in receipt of income support where the youngest child is 11 or above; and what the average weekly amount is of(a) income support and (b) housing and council tax benefits which are paid to such lone parents. [132486]

Mr. Pond

The information requested is in the table.

Lone parents receiving Income Support whose youngest child is aged 11 or over, Great Britain May 2002
Thousand £ per week
Income Support recipients 156,200
Income Support average amount 96.20
Housing Benefit average amount 63.50
Council Tax Benefit average amount 11.60


  1. 1. Of the 156,200 lone parents receiving Income Support, 128,000 also received Housing Benefit and 114,000 Council Tax Benefit.
  2. 2. Income Support recipients have been rounded to the nearest hundred, average weekly amounts to the nearest 10 pence.
  3. 3. Figures are based on 1 per cent. and 5 per cent. samples and are therefore subject to sampling variation.
  4. 4. Lone Parents are defined as single claimants with dependants not receiving the disability or pensioner premium.
  5. 5. Housing Benefit figures exclude any Extended Payment cases, Council Tax Benefit totals exclude any Second Adult Rebate cases. Figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.


5 per cent. and 1 per cent. samples of the benefit computer system