§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what arrangements will be made to deal with applications from students for social security benefit during the Easter vacation; and if he will now publish details of their entitlement to benefit in the Official Report.
§ Mr. Orme
Students' claims to supplementary benefit in the Easter vacation are being dealt with strictly in the order in which they are received, and by reference to the law as declared by the Court of Appeal in the case of Atkinson v. Barnsley Supplementary Benefit Appeal Tribunal. Entitlement will depend on each claimant's circumstances and will be calculated under the normal rules; however, the effect of the Atkinson judgement658W is that students will be allowed a £4 per week disregard on their student grant, and any who can demonstrate that they have not received an assessed parental contribution may get extra benefit.
Under the Social Security (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill at present before the House regulations relating to students may have retrospective effect. They would provide that, normally, any assessed parental contribution to the student grant would be taken into account and that no part of the grant would be disregarded. All claims determined after the regulations came into effect would be dealt with on this basis. However, students who were lone parents or seriously disabled would be allowed a disregard on their grant of £2 per week and any assessed parental contribution would be taken into account only if it was actually received.
§ Mr. Shersby
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what will be the entitlement to social security benefit for students on split sandwich courses due to be completed on 1st April and who will not return to their studies until the end of September and who may be temporarily unemployed during that period.