HC Deb 06 June 1946 vol 423 cc2144-5
27. Mrs. Castle

asked the Minister of Pensions why a disabled ex-Serviceman who is admitted to a Ministry of Pension's hospital for observation prior to the settlement of his pensions claim is refused treatment allowances for himself and family; and whether he will take steps to put such men on the same basis as those admitted for treatment.

Mr. Wilfred Paling

Normal treatment allowances are payable in respect of a condition which has been accepted as due to war service. Where a married ex-Serviceman is admitted to hospital in order to determine the nature of any disability from which he may be suffering and whether or not it is due to war service any National Health Insurance Benefit or other payment to which he is entitled is brought up to at least 42s. a week. This is the rate which is proposed in similar circumstances under the new National Insurance Bill. In addition an allowance of 5s. a week is given for each child. No deduction is made for maintenance and if the condition is subsequently accepted as connected with war service normal treatment allowance rates are paid with retrospective effect.

Mrs. Castle

While appreciating the fact that the grants may later be retrospective, docs not my hon. Friend think that the actual operation of the arrangement causes an interim condition of hardship? Is he aware that I have sent him particulars of a case where a man who is in hospital for observation is given anxiety by the knowledge that his wife and two children are having to manage on just over £2 a week?

Mr. Paling

My trouble is that I have not any power to pay him full rates until he is actually admitted for pension. When he comes in for observation, he is actually a civilian but if, as a result of observation, he is admitted for pension, then we pay full rates, and we pay them retrospectively.

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