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28 Nov 2002 : Column 464W—continued

Child Benefit

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if the Department has drafted a letter for Child Benefit claimants regarding the legal obligation to ensure their children attend school; and if he will make a statement. [83950]

Malcolm Wicks: The letter to parents notifying them of their rate of Child Benefit from April 2003 will be accompanied in England by a leaflet from the Department for Education and Skills on education matters. The leaflet includes a message on parents' responsibilities in ensuring that their children attend school. The letters will be issued from early December. A copy of the leaflet will be placed in the Library.

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of claims for Disability Living Allowance have been (a) refused and (b) granted after a review or appeal since April 2001. [80131]

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Maria Eagle: The exact information requested is unavailable. However we do hold some relevant information and this is shown in the tables.

Number of applicants for Disability Living Allowance rejected on first application over the past two financial years in Great Britain

Number of DLA applicants rejected on first application


1. Information is available only at a national level.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.


ASD Information Centre, data taken from 100 per cent. extract of monthly management information system.

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Number of applicants for Disability Living Allowance that were granted on appeal and granted on review in Great Britain May 2001-May 2002
of which:

Quarter endingAll claims where DLA was grantedClaims granted on first applicationClaims granted on appealClaims granted on review
May 200166,30053,7009,1003,500
August 200163,80053,1007,4003,300
November 200162,90051,5007,7003,600
February 200259,70049,4006,3004,000
May 200266,40056,1007,2003,100


Figures are in thousands and rounded to the nearest hundred. Figures may not sum due to rounding.


5 per cent. data taken from the AA/DLA computer system from quarter ending 31 May 2001 to quarter ending 31 May 2002.

The number of Disability Living Allowance appeals cleared at hearing, with details about those found in favour of the appellant at hearing, decided against the appellant and decision upheld at hearing with percentages from March 2001 to May 2002

Quarter endingClearedFound in favourPercentage found in favourDecided againstPercentage decided againstDecision upheldPercentage decision upheld
May 200122,80011,94052.4150.110,65546.7
August 200120,05510,61052.9250.19,20545.9
November 200119,95010,56553.0500.39,13545.8
February 200217,3009,42554.5100.17,69544.5
May 200219,86510,71053.9150.18,94045.0


1. All figures are subject to change as more up to date data become available.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

3. Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

4. Discrepancies between cleared and breakdown due to outcomes such as withdrawn or misconceived appeals.


100 per cent. download of the Generic Appeals Processing System.

Disability Premium

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many families on Income Support have more than one child which satisfies the criteria for entitlement to the disability premium. [83949]

Malcolm Wicks: In Great Britain, as at August 2002, there were 7,600 Income Support claimants with more than one child receiving either the Disabled Child Premium or both the Disabled Child Premium and Enhanced Disabled Child Premium.

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received regarding changes that may be necessary to the minimum income guarantee claim form. [83953]

Mr. McCartney: Extensive research and consultation were undertaken when developing the new, shorter, minimum income guarantee form (MIG1) however it is, as are all of the Department's forms and leaflets, kept under review.

We have received a request from Carers UK that the claim form be further amended to reflect that, since 28 October 2002, older carers have been able to claim invalid care allowance. The April 2003 re-print of the MIG1 will reflect this point, in the meantime staff handling MIG claims have been alerted to this change.

Post Office Card Account

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will announce the alternative arrangements for those people who will not be able to use the PIN number associated with a post office card account. [83208]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 25 November 2002]: Customers who cannot or do not want to use a card and PIN may want to consider an account with a cheque

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book or pass book. Customers will be supplied with information which clearly sets out their account options (including the key features of each type of account) and enables them to decide which account best meets their needs and circumstances.

The alternative arrangements are not needed until order books and giros cease in 2005 and we expect them to be in place in autumn 2004. Work is currently under way to achieve this. We will ensure that the method introduced will be secure, efficient and available from outlets including post offices.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria are used to decide where the pilot scheme for the Post Office Card Account was to be held. [83650]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

Implementation of the Card Account, including any piloting arrangements, is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. within the terms of their contract with the spending departments.

I have therefore asked the Chief Executive of Post Office Ltd. to write direct to the hon. Member.

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Voluntary Sector

Sue Doughty : To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if the Government plans to reform the rules on availability for work to make it easier for people out of paid employment to take voluntary work; and if he will make a statement. [80407]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: We have laid before Parliament draft regulations which will amend the rules on availability for work for jobseeker's allowance recipients. Subject to parliamentary approval, these regulations will extend from 48 hours to one week the period of notice before jobseekers who engage in voluntary work must be available to start employment. In order to ensure that they do not miss out on job opportunities, jobseekers who undertake voluntary work will still be required to be available for an interview at 48 hours' notice.

This relaxation in the rules should make it easier for people out of paid employment to make a greater commitment to volunteering by allowing them to give a week's notice before having to start a job. It should also make it more worthwhile for voluntary organisations to take on unemployed volunteers and offer them development and training opportunities.

We propose to introduce the changes nationally for a trial period of a year so that an evaluation can take place.