§ 18. Mr. FREDERICK ROBERTS
asked the Minister of Pensions whether any instructions, oral or written, have been issued to medical officers in the whole-time employ of the Ministry when serving on resurvey or final award boards that they should carefully examine the casis of entitlement, and if there be any doubt refer the case to medical assessors with a special memorandum; whether, as a result of these instructions, a number of pensioners have had the entitlement altered from due to to aggravated by service; what is the number of cases where the entitlement has been changed during the two years ending 30th June, 1923; and in how many of these cases where the entitlement has been changed to aggravated by has the pension ceased on the grounds that aggravation has passed away?
§ Major TRYON
In view of the importance of correctly determining the liability of the State in respect of compensation it has been necessary for the Ministry to satisfy itself as regards entitlement in all cases. Special Boards (not Resurvey Boards) are directed to satisfy themselves finally as to the correctness of entitlement because these Boards are concerned with the fixing of a final award. Review of entitlement may result in a change of entitlement in favour of the man as well as the reverse. Thus in a recent fortnight's work I find that there were 66 cases in which entitlement was changed to the advantage of the man from aggravation 1548 to attributability as compared with 45 cases in which the change was in the converse direction. In every such case the man has the right of appeal to the independent Appeal Tribunal. The records of my Department do not enable me to give the full figures asked for in the last part of the question, but they show that during the two years referred to, entitlement was corrected on the advice of medical advisers from attributability to aggravation in 18,000 cases, or 1 per cent. only of all the cases dealt with in the two years.