HC Deb 16 June 1925 vol 185 cc286-7
64. Mr. W. BAKER

asked the Minister of Pensions, with reference to the practice of his Department to commence payment of the pension awarded from the date of the hearing of the appeal before the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, whether, seeing that in some cases, on receipt of a complaint from the British Legion or other responsible body, his Department has issued instructions for the arrears to be paid from the date upon which the application was submitted to the Appeal Tribunal, he will, in justice to all appellants, issue instructions that awards shall date from the day on which the application was submitted?


The hon. Member is, I think, under a misapprehension as to the practice of the Ministry. Where the verdict of an Appeal Tribunal involves an award, or an increase of an award of pension, such award is payable not, as suggested, from the date of hearing, but from the date of appeal. Where, however, in the case of a final award, the Tribunal set aside the award on the ground that the case is not yet suitable for final settlement, any award that may subsequently be made in accordance with the finding of the medical board of the Ministry is allowed to date from the date of the Tribunal's decision instead of, as would otherwise be the case, from the date of examination by the medical board. The fact that, in certain exceptional cases it has been shown that the award should equitably be paid as from an earlier date, does not, in my opinion, warrant an alteration of the general rule.


Is it not unsatisfactory that those persons who approach the Minister through Members of Parliament or through the British Legion should secure a more favourable decision than those less fortunate people who endeavour to fight their own case?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

I do not think they do. I do not think that anyone who approaches the Minister through a member of the British Legion gets any different treatment


Is it not contrary to justice that when a man has been refused his pension and an appeal is entered that he should not get his payments for the gap between the date when he first put in his appeal and its decision? That is, surely, very unjust?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

A man can appeal the moment he hears about his first award. He does not have to frame his appeal, he merely has to make a statement that he does intend to appeal.


But how long will it be before his appeal is heard?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

It is not a question of how long it is before the appeal is heard. If he makes out an appeal, that is sufficient. He does not have to wait until the appeal has been heard.

Lieut.-Colonel WATTS-MORGAN

Is not the hon. and gallant Member aware that cases have remained from October till February—that though a man was awarded 100 per cent. pension, was restored to full pension, he lost the pension from October to February because of the board not having sat?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

If the hon. and gallant Member will inform me of the case, I will look into it. If he will read my answer he will see that where the verdict of an appeal tribunal involves an award or an increase of an award of pension, such award is payable not, as suggested, from the date of hearing, but from the date of the appeal, that is, the time when he first decided to appeal from the decision.

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