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Mr. Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many former miners who have been compensated for industrial injury involving vibration white finger under the DTI scheme have been refused a pension by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Payment of compensation by an employer does not automatically mean that someone is entitled to industrial injury benefits. In considering a benefit claim, the decision maker will consider any supporting evidence before applying the appropriate Social Security law to the facts of the case.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many pneumoconiosis awards have been made in the last three months for which figures are available, broken down by coalfield area in respect of (a) working miners and (b) former mineworkers. 
|Government Office region||All Ages||Under 60||60-64||65 and over|
|Yorkshire & Humber||26||4||1||21|
1. Industry is based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of economic activities 1992.
2. Code 1010 has been used to identify the coal industry.
Information Centre, figures based on a 100 per cent. count.
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Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide the estimates of the proportion of the population in each county with income below 60 per cent. of median income which underlay Figure 3.6 of his Department's report, "Households Below Average Income". 
Mr. Bayley [holding answer 21 July 2000]: Figure 3.6 presents information for counties ranked into five equal sized groups. Although the underlying data were used in the production of the maps, DSS statisticians advise that precise results for individual counties are not robust enough to be presented separately. Results for individual counties are affected by sampling error and response biases and by the fact that the Family Resources Survey, from which HBAI estimates are drawn, has a sample stratified at regional, not county, level.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what enhanced payments independent sector organisations which provide care services receive; and what assessment he has made of the implications of this for local authority social service departments. 
Mr. Bayley: Independent sector organisations which provide care services do not receive enhanced payments of Social Security benefits. A resident in an independent sector care home who was there on 31 March 1993 remains entitled by way of preserved rights to higher levels of Income Support as a contribution towards the fees charged by such homes which the resident is responsible for meeting.
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A person who took up residence in such a home from April 1993 under community care arrangements would receive Income Support, including appropriate premiums in broadly the same way as they would if they remained at home, with the addition of a Residential Allowance as contribution towards their housing costs. The relevant local authority is responsible for meeting the fees and collecting a contribution from the resident; subject to the resident retaining from their income at least £15.45 per week for personal expenses.
My right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health announced today in the context of the NHS plan that the preserved rights scheme will end in April 2002 and cases will become the responsibility of local authorities with an appropriate transfer of funding from this Department to local authorities, and that the funds for the Residential Allowance will also be transferred to local authorities.
Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many households among those having less than half average income in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1998-99 and (d) 1999-2000, depended primarily for their income on (i) National Insurance pension benefits, (ii) other National Insurance benefits and Child Benefit, (iii) Income Support or the Minimum Income Guarantee and (iv) other types and combinations of benefit. 
Mr. Bayley: The following table shows the number of families with less than contemporary half average income that receive Social Security benefits which account for more than 50 per cent. of their gross income. The figures come from Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series and cover the period up to and including financial year 1998-99 for Great Britain. Figures for 1999-2000 are not available.
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|Families below half average (mean) income||5.1||7.2||5.2||7.1||5.4||7.3|
|Those dependent primarily on:|
|National Insurance pension benefits||1.4||1.8||1.5||1.8||1.6||1.9|
|Other National Insurance benefits and Child Benefit||0.3||0.5||0.4||0.5||0.4||0.5|
1. All figures are estimates and are taken from HBAI which is based on the Family Resources Survey. All estimates are subject to sampling error and response bias.
2. 'Dependent primarily' has been defined as income from benefits exceeding 50 per cent. of the family's total gross weekly income. HBAI counts the number of families/benefit units in receipt of Social Security benefits, not the number of households. Therefore figures are quoted on family/benefit unit level. An individual household may consist of more than one family/benefit unit therefore figures presented in the table will be higher than counting the number of households.
3. National Insurance pension benefits consists of the Retirement Pension (including SERPS). Other National Insurance benefits include Jobseeker's Allowance (Contributory based), Incapacity Benefit and Widows Benefit. Income Support includes the income based element of Jobseeker's Allowance.
4. The 'All benefits' line relates to the number of families with income below half average that are dependent primarily on income from Social Security benefits.
5. All figures include the self-employed.
6. Figures are presented for families in households below half average income before the deduction of housing costs (BHC) and after (AHC), in line with HBAI conventions.
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Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate how many people in households in the bottom two deciles of household income whose hourly earnings were below the minimum wage level, deflated from the 1999 rate, were receiving each social security benefit, and in what combination, using data from the Family Resources Survey 1997-98; and if he will make a statement. 
The number of individuals who were in the bottom two equivalised income deciles and where the hourly earnings of the head of the family in which they belong would have been below the national minimum wage had it existed in 1997-98, deflated from the 1999 rate is 800,000. The estimate is calculated using data from the 1997-98 Family Resources Survey. Of those 800,000 individuals it is estimated that 290,000 were in receipt of Council Tax Benefit. The sample size of the Family Resources Survey is not large enough to allow reliable estimates to be made of the number within the 800,000 who were in receipt of other benefits.
Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (a) when his Department withdrew leaflet N1272 on asbestos, (b) for what reasons it was withdrawn, (c) what plans he has to issue a new leaflet covering this subject and (d) when replacement literature will be available. 
Mr. Bayley: Leaflet N1272 was withdrawn on 1 November 1999 as part of a review of all the Benefits Agency's leaflets. The review was carried out following extensive research with customers to find out what they wanted from leaflets. The research showed that customers did not find leaflets the best source of detailed information.
For those who would use a leaflet, the research showed that customers wanted the leaflets based on specific life events rather than covering specific benefits. They also wanted the leaflets to contain basic information about all the help they could get in that circumstance and they wanted the information to be just enough to help them to decide whether to claim. Based on the research we withdrew leaflet N1272 and replaced it with a less detailed leaflet SD6 "ill or disabled because of a disease or deafness caused by work".
There are no plans to issue a new leaflet specifically on asbestos-related diseases. However, the Benefits Agency issued replacement literature on 1 November 1999. Its leaflet SD6 "ill or disabled because of a disease or deafness caused by work" is aimed at customers and gives brief details of the Industrial Injuries scheme. It also issued a technical guide, DB1 "A guide to Industrial Injuries scheme benefits", on the same date. This gives
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detailed information about the scheme, including asbestos-related diseases. It is freely available to the public although it is primarily aimed at customer advisers.
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