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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Benefits and Allowances

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Benefits and Allowances on 6th November 1986.


Mr. Thurnham Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people had their mobility allowance renewal applications refused during (a) the 12-month period prior to the House of Lords' decision Leeds v. Secretary of State for Social Services on 25 April 1985 and (b) the 12-month period since that date; how many of those in (b) above were refused because: (i) their condition had changed and (ii) they were adjudged differently from their original successful claims in the light of the Leeds decision; and how many of those in (b) above were (i) severely mentally handicapped, (ii) severely behaviourally disturbed and (iii) with other severe disabilities.

Mr. Major In the 12 months up to 25 April 1985, 4,360 renewal claims for mobility allowance (16.7 per cent. of the renewal claims decided in that period) were disallowed at the initial stage. The figures for the 12 months after that date were 4,250 and 15.7 per cent. respectively. I regret that records are not maintained of the reasons for disallowance of renewal claims or of the nature of the disability of unsuccessful claimants.

Mr. Thurnham Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people had their original mobility allowance applications refused during (a) the 12-month period prior to the House of Lords' decision Leeds v. Secretary of State for Social Services on 25 April 1985 and (b) the 12-month period since that date; and of these how many were (i) severely mentally handicapped, (ii) severely behaviourally disturbed and (iii) blind with other severe disabilities.

Mr. Major In the 12 months up to 25 April 1985, 33,500 initial claims for mobility allowance (30.7 per cent. of the initial claims decided in that period) were disallowed. The figures for the 12 months after that date were 43,600 and 34.8 per cent. respectively.

I regret that records are not maintained of the nature of the disability of unsuccessful claimants.

Mr. Wigley Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if local offices of his Department can identify every person receiving supplementary benefit or supplementary pension, who has a dependent child under the age of two years, or is over the age of 65 years, or is in receipt of attendance allowance and mobility allowance.

Mr. Major The Department's local offices do not keep these statistics. To mount a special exercise to identify every person within these groups would be disproportionately costly.

Mr. Ashdown Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many extra civil servants he has employed in dealing with outstanding claims for invalid care allowance in respect of married women; and when he anticipates the backlog will be brought down to a similar level of outstanding claims as those pertaining to men and single women.

Mr. Major The Department has engaged an additional 320 staff to deal with claims for invalid care allowance from married women. Experience with the cases processed so far indicates that the majority of these claims should be cleared by early in the new year.

Mrs. Beckett Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many workers in the Midlands social security region have claimed disablement benefit during the last 10 years; and how many of those were claiming for injuries assessed at between 1 per cent, and 14 per cent.

Mr. Major Information is not available in the form requested, as the Midland social security region was only formed on 12 April 1982.

Between then and 23 September 1986, 95,097 claims for disablement benefit were made. We do not have a regional breakdown either of successful claims or of how many were for disablement below 14 per cent.