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

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Maternity Payments on 22nd April 1987.


Mr. Meacher Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many women in the Oldham West constituency claimed maternity grant in the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Major Information is not available in the form requested.

The Oldham West constituency is covered by the Departments local offices at Oldham and Failsworth, although their boundaries are not conterminous with the constituency. The numbers of maternity grant claims received at these two offices during the 1986 calendar year were as follows:


Area | Number

Oldham | 1,021

Failsworth | 1,349


Mrs. Beckett Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received regarding the sending of incorrect instructions about the last date to qualify for a single payment for maternity needs to local offices; whether correcting instructions had been received in all offices by the week before the deadline for claims of 6 April; if he will make transitional arrangements so that those eligible for payment for a baby born on or before 17 May can claim up to 17 May; and if he will mount an immediate national advertising campaign to publicise these arrangements.

Mr. Major We have received one letter concerning the instructions relating to the transitional arrangements for the payment of supplementary benefit single payments for maternity needs which were issued to local offices in late January this year. Prior to receipt of this letter, as a result of a telephone enquiry received by the Department, it had already been decided to issue clarifying guidance to all local offices about applications for payments for maternity needs received before 6 April where the week of expected confinement was after that date. This was done on 5 March 1987 and we do not propose to take any further action.

Mrs. Beckett Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether women on supplementary benefit and without savings of over £500 can claim a single payment for maternity needs for a baby due on or before 17 May, provided their claim was made before 6 April.

Mr. Major A supplementary benefit single payment for maternity needs can be made, subject to the normal eligibility conditions, for a claim made before 6 April 1987 provided that, at the time of the claim, the expected week of confinement was not more than six weeks ahead.