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12 Jan 2009 : Column 41Wcontinued
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed pension credit in Leeds West constituency in each year since 2005. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The answer is in the following table.
|Number of households recipients and individual beneficiaries of pension credit in Leeds, West parliamentary constituency|
|As at May each year||Household recipients||Individual beneficiaries|
1. The number of households in receipt are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.
3. Individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much pension credit has been clawed back by his Department in each (a) month of 2007-08 and (b) of the last five financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information in relation to pension credit overpayment recoveries for each month in 2007-08 is in the following table:
Rounded to the nearest decimal point.
In relation to pension credit overpayment recoveries in past years, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer the Minister of State, (Mr. McNulty) gave the hon. Member on 26 November 2008, Official Report , volume 170, column 2014W .
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) that those receiving payments from his Department may opt to use the Post Office card account on the same basis as any other method of payment and (b) that the process to select the option to use the Post Office card account is neutral in its effect as between alternative payment methods. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Opening a Post Office card account is already very straightforward and we have plans to make it even easier for customers by automating parts of the process. We provide information which helps customers choose the account which best meets their needs and circumstances, including making the card account easily available to those who need it. And more than 10,000 new Post Office card accounts are opened on average each month.
We have already made changes to the booklet being sent to existing cheque customers so that it explicitly refers to the Post Office card account. We have also updated the messages that staff use when speaking to customers to reflect the fact that the Post Office card account will now continue until at least 2015. Other communications material will be kept under review.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of disabled children living below the poverty line in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire in each of the last 10 years; 
(2) how many and what percentage of children in each age group in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire were living in absolute poverty in each year since 1997. 
Kitty Ussher: The information requested is not available.
Our child poverty statistics, published in the Households Below Average Income series, only allow a breakdown of the number of children in relative or absolute poverty at Government office region level. Information is therefore not available at parliamentary constituency or county level.
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to tackle child poverty in Leeds West constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Kitty Ussher: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 2024W.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unemployment benefit claimants there were in each quarter of the last 30 years. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 December 2008]: The available information has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of processing (a) disability living allowance, (b) attendance allowance and (c) carers allowance was in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08. 
Jonathan Shaw: The information is in the following table:
|Cost of processing disability living allowance (DLA), attendance allowance (AA) and carers allowance (CA)|
Activity Based Management system
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Departments latest estimate is of the effect on its expenditure from changing the backdating period for (a) pension credit, (b) council tax benefit and (c) housing benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The proposal to change the allowed length of backdating from 12 months to three months was part of a wider package of pensions measures to increase take-up and make benefit processes simpler. Older people will be able to claim pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit in one phone call without having to fill in, sign or return any claim forms. This will benefit thousands of pensioners often put off by complicated claim forms and the fear of large amounts of personal information being required. Over the long-term the package results in extra expenditure for pensioners, rising to £250 million per year by 2050.
For working age people, the Governments response to the Social Security Advisory Committers consultation report, published on 15 September, recognised arguments presented by the committee on the potential effect of the changes to Housing benefit and council benefit backdating on vulnerable groups and announced that backdating for housing benefit for working age customers will move initially to 6 months rather than three months. Details of the estimated costs and savings associated with the original proposals in the wider package of measures can be found in the SSAC report.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria his Department and its agencies apply when determining whether a person
receiving benefit is cohabiting with another person; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: When deciding whether two people are living together as husband or wife or in a civil partnership (LTAHW/CP) a Decision Maker must take into account the whole of the customer's relationship with the other person. There is no single factor which can determine whether or not two people are LTAHW/CP; for example, it is important that a decision is not made solely on the basis of their financial arrangements.
Among the other factors to be considered will be the existence of a shared household, the stability of the relationship, responsibility for children and the existence of a sexual relationship.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of adults with autism claiming (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) incapacity benefit. 
Mr. McNulty: The information is not available.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average clearance time for disability living allowance claims was in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and how many claims were cleared in a period longer than the average in each year. 
Jonathan Shaw: Information about the actual average clearance time for disability living allowance (DLA) new claims is in the following table:
|DLA new claims actual average clearance times|
DLA/AA Legacy computer system
Information about the number of DLA new claims cleared in a period longer than the average for these years is not available.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what benefits were paid to nationals of (a) other EU and (b) non-EU countries and their families in each of the last 12 quarters, broken down by (i) county and (ii) category of benefit. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 16 December 2008]: The information requested is not available.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people reported benefit fraud online in each of the last three years; how many of those reports were made anonymously; how many such reports were followed up with an investigation; and how many successful prosecutions for benefit fraud there were over that period. 
Mr. McNulty: Information for council tax and housing benefit is not available. The available information for DWP administered benefits is in the following table:
|Internet contacts||Internet referrals|
|(1 )April 2008 to October 2008|
The National Benefit Fraud Hotline only started systematically collecting management information on fraud referrals from the 2007-08 operational year.
All reports made to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline via telephone and internet can be made anonymously. No figures are available on the number of occasions when individuals have chosen to identify themselves when reporting their suspicions.
The information in the following table provides aggregated details of outcomes derived from all hotline referrals, which were then followed up by an investigation and how many were successfully prosecuted in the last three years. The outcome data are not currently split into telephone and internet categories.
The available information is in the following table:
|Benefit Fraud Hotline outcomes, Great Britain|
|2005-06( 1)||2006-07( 1)||2007-08( 2)|
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