Social Security Bill — Backdating of benefit — 10 Dec 1997
Oliver Letwin MP, West Dorset did not vote.
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker:
With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following: New schedule 1-- 'Exceptions to the backdating of benefits--
1. The backdating of benefits for a period longer than one month may be allowed for--
(a) cases where entitlement to benefit is dependent on the claimant's, or another person's entitlement to another benefit; and
(b) Family Credit and Disability Working Allowance claims, where a previous claim to Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance has been refused because the claimant or partner is in remunerative work and the Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance Claim is made within 14 days of the determination on the Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance claim.
Income Related Benefits
2. The backdating of income related benefits for a period no longer than one month may be allowed for--
(a) claimants who have difficulty communicating because of learning, language or literacy difficulties;
(b) claimants who are deaf or blind for whom there is no one else to make their claim;
(c) claimants who are ill or disabled for whom there is no one else to make their claim, except in the case of a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance;
(d) claimants who were given misleading information by an officer of the Department of Social Security or of the Department for Education and Employment;
(e) claimants who were given misleading advice in writing by a solicitor or other professional adviser, or by a medical practitioner, a Local Authority or by a person working in a Citizens Advice Bureau or a similar advice agency;
(f) claimants who have been given misleading information in writing about their income or capital by their employer or former employer, or by a bank or building society;
(g) claimants who are required to deal with a domestic emergency affecting them, for whom there is no one else to make the claim; and
(h) claimants who are prevented from attending the appropriate office by adverse weather conditions.
3. The backdating of income related benefits for a period no longer than one month may be allowed in cases where claimants are forced to delay claiming because--
(a) the appropriate office, where the claimant would be expected to make a claim, was unable to provide a service and alternative arrangements were not available;
(b) the claimant was unable to attend the appropriate office due to difficulties with his normal mode of transport and there was no reasonable alternative available;
(c) there were adverse postal conditions;
(d) the claimant was previously in receipt of another benefit, and notification of expiry of entitlement to that benefit was not sent to the claimant before the date that his entitlement expired;
(e) for Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance the claimant had previously been entitled to Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance and the claim for Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance was made within one month of expiry of entitlement to the previous benefit;
(f) for Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance the claimant had previously been entitled to Family Credit or Disability Working Allowance and the claim for Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance was made within one month of expiry of entitlement to the previous benefit;
(g) the claimant recently separated from his partner; or
(h) a close relative of the claimant recently died.
4. Refugees may be allowed, where the Secretary of State thinks it appropriate to claim backdated awards of Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit to the date of the asylum application.
Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Maternity Allowance
5. Claims for Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Maternity Allowance may be allowed to be backdated if employers delay in notifying the claimants that they had no entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay.
6. Further exceptions may be allowed in such cases or circumstances as may be prescribed.
I should like to devise a new way of looking at such cases which did not rely on a good-cause defence and gave people the right to have benefit from an early stage, perhaps from the date of diagnosis or perhaps some other possible date.
It being Ten o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.
Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 15 (Exempted business),
That, at this day's sitting, the Social Security Bill may be proceeded with, though opposed, until any hour.-- [Janet Anderson.]
Question agreed to.
As amended (in the Standing Committee), again considered.
Question again proposed , That the clause be read a Second time.
Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:--
The House divided: Ayes 57, Noes 345.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Lab||344 (+2 tell)||0||0||83.0%|
|LDem||0||41 (+2 tell)||0||93.5%|