§ 27. Mr. Wareing
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received about the restricted time period during which married women could apply for invalid care allowance; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Major
There is no deadline for applications from married women to receive invalid care allowance from current date, plus up to 12 months arrears subject to qualifying conditions being met. A deadline of 31 December 1986 was, however, fixed for claims attracting arrears back to 22 December 1984, the date of implementation of the European Community's equal treatment directive. To ensure that as many people as possible were aware of this, we arranged an extensive publicity campaign and we have written to 400,000 attendance allowance clamants who are paid by computer. So far 90,000 married women have claimed ICA, but claims are still coming in at the rate of 2,000 a week.
Representations about the deadline for claiming full arrears have been received from the Child Poverty Action Group, the Vice President of the European Parliament, the noble Lord, Lord Ennals, the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), my hon. Friends the Members for Leicester, East (Mr. Brunivels) and for Newark (Mr. Alexander), the hon. and learned Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner) and the hon. Member for Stockton, North (Mr. Cook). When the decision to extend ICA to married women was announced last summer, we thought that six months would be sufficient time for these back-dated claims, and set the deadline accordingly. However, in view of the representations made, and the rate at which claims are still being received, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 22 December that the deadline was being extended to 31 August 1987. We will also be writing to other attendance allowance beneficiaries who are paid by local offices over the next few months when their order books are renewed.169W
§ 35. Ms. Richardson
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many married women have applied for invalid care allowance in the last few months.