§ Mrs. Chalker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services under what statute a woman widowed during pregnancy is unable to receive maternity allowance when she has had a full national insurance contribution record in her own right, in addition to a full contribution record by her late husband.
§ Mr. Orme
Regulation 3 of the Social Security (Overlapping Benefits) Regulations 1975 (SI 1975 No. 554) provides416W broadly that where a claimant is entitled to two or more basic social security benefits only the higher or highest of them can be paid. Thus, the widow in question would receive a widow's allowance at the standard rate of £21.40 a week together with an earnings-related addition of up to £12.18 a week, based on her husband's earnings, during the first six months of widowhood, and a widowed mother's allowance at the standard rate of £15.30 a week thereafter. The limitation I have mentioned does not in general, however, extend to earnings-related additions and earnings-related supplements to benefit; and, while the widow would be unable to receive the amount of the basic maternity allowance—standard rate £1290 a week—on top of her widow's allowance, she could receive an earnings-related supplement to maternity allowance, of up to £12.18 a week, based on her own earnings. Apart from additions for children, she could therefore receive up to £45.76 a week during the first six months of widowhood compared with £25.08 if she had not been widowed. Additions for children are also adjusted to prevent duplication of payment, but, in these circumstances, they would be paid at the higher rate of £7.45 a week—including child benefit—payable with widow's allowance instead of at the lower rate of £4.05 a week payable with maternity allowance. All the above figures are at current benefit rates. If the hon. Lady has a particular case in mind perhaps she would write to me.