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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Severe Weather Payments

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Severe Weather Payments on 23rd February 1987.


Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why Tottenham Department of Health and Social Security office has refused to accept a bulk claim for severe weather payments for the week 12 to 18 January inclusive from the Broadwater Farm neighbourhood office on behalf of pensioners over 65 years and families with children under the age of two years on supplementary benefit living within the London borough of Haringey; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 26 January 1987 c. 89]: Supplementary benefit claims, including single payment claims, are normally accepted from a third party only where it has been confirmed both that the claimant is unable to act on his own behalf and that the third party is able to act for him.

A bulk claim would not enable all potential beneficiaries to be correctly identified, nor would it contain all the necessary information to establish entitlement.

The Department's Tottenham local office could not, therefore, accept a bulk claim for exceptionally cold weather payments on behalf of residents of the London borough of Haringey. Instead, the office agreed to accept a list of names and addresses of potential claimants and to send each of them an invitation to claim.

The office received the list on 2 February 1987 and invitations to claim were issued on 10 February 1987.

Mr. Gordon Brown Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many applications in (a) Scotland and (b) Britain for severe weather payment have come from persons not on supplementary benefit; and what proportion of these are now being processed with a view to checking entitlement to supplementary benefit.

Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 12 February 1987, c. 341]: Information on the number of exceptionally cold weather claims received from people not on supplementary benefit is not available.

People who fail to qualify for a cold weather payment because they are not in receipt of benefit are given a full explanation of why payment has been refused, with advice on how to go about claiming supplementary benefit.