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Crisis Loans: Housing Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Karen Buck Karen Buck Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the crisis loans made from the Social Fund were made as interim payments pending benefit receipt in each year since 2009; and what proportion of funding for crisis loans these payments represented.

Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The information available is shown in the following table. Information for 2010-11 will not be available until after the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’ Annual Report on the Social Fund for 2010-11 has been published later this year.

Crisis loan awards in 2009-10 in Great Britain
All crisis loan initial awards (Thousand) 2,697
Crisis loan awards made for alignment purposes (Thousand) 1,100
Proportion of all crisis loans funding which was for alignment payments (percentage) 31.3
Notes: 1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics and there are some issues with the data, for example, it does not include applications which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System. 2. The number of initial awards does not include awards made on review. 3. The question has been interpreted as asking for the volumes of crisis loan awards for alignment purposes as interim payments are different and do not come under the Social Fund remit. 4. The proportion of all crisis loan funding which was for alignment purposes is different to the proportion of awards because of the different award amounts given for different crisis loan applications. Awards for alignment purposes tend to be lower than those for other crisis loan awards. 5. Crisis loans for alignment purposes can be awarded prior to a new benefit claim or to the applicants first wage. Awards for alignment to first wage are small (less than 5% of all alignment awards). Source: DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System and Annual Report by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Social Fund 2009-10

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