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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Bath Additions

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Bath Additions on 10th February 1987.


Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he proposes to amend paragraph 4531 of the "S manual" to restrict bath additions for people in need of more than one bath a week; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he has any plans to restrict bath additions to people in need of more than one bath a week; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major Supplementary benefit legislation provides that additional supplementary benefit for baths is payable in respect of any person who on medical grounds needs more than one bath a week. There are no plans to amend that provision prior to the introduction of the new income support scheme. Guidance to the independent adjudication officers on the interpretation of the legislation is the responsibility of the chief adjudication officer. I understand that he is reviewing the guidance contained in paragraph 4531 of the "S manual", in the light of recent advice that incontinence may not be medical grounds justifying additional benefit for baths within the terms of the legislation. He is awaiting decisions on two appeals to the Social Security Commissioners before considering whether to amend the "S manual", but he has issued guidance based on the new advice in answer to individual enquiries from adjudication officers who are responsible for deciding entitlement on the facts of each case.