§ 90. Mr. RONALD M'NEILL
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been called to the case of Mrs. Parry, a school teacher at Deal, who, on the 15th January, 1913, became entitled to sickness benefit, being furnished with a medical certificate in the prescribed form stating that she was totally incapacitated from work; whether he is aware that Mrs. Parry, being dangerously 2111 ill, was admitted on the 22nd of January to the Victoria Cottage Hospital at Deal, being, as an insured person, only eligible for admission to the hospital as a case of urgency and on condition of paying for her maintenance and medical attendance; that she is still unable to resume her employment, but that, in spite of repeated applications to her approved society, the Teachers' Provident Society, she has been unable to obtain any payment of sickness benefit except for the first week of her illness, and although she has a blind infant dependent upon her; whether this treatment is due to a decision of the Insurance Commissioners that under no circumstances shall sickness benefit be paid to insured persons in hospital, even though obliged to provide their own maintenance; and whether he will take steps to reverse this decision of the Commissioners and to remove the injustice inflicted thereby on Mrs. Parry and other insured persons in similar circumstances?
It is not a decision of the Insurance Commissioners, but a definite provision of Section 12 of the National Insurance Act that sickness benefit shall not be paid to insured persons while they are in hospitals of the kind described in the Section. The same Section, however, provides for the application of the benefit, in whole or in part, for the relief or maintenance of any dependants. I am informed by the society that they were unable until last week to ascertain whether Mrs. Perry had any dependants, and that immediately on being satisfied that such was the case the whole amount of the sickness benefit calculated up to 13th April, namely, £4 10s., was paid for the relief and maintenance of the dependants, in acccordance with the provisions of Section 12. Any inconvenience that may have been caused would appear to have been due to the insured person not supplying the society at once with information as to her dependants, and not to any decision of the Insurance Commissioners.