§ 44. Mr. David Thomas
asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is 1761 aware that members of approved societies which have been taken over by his Department frequently have to send their claims to some distant address; and whether arrangements will be made to enable them to be paid from local offices of the Ministry.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
The arrangements for the gradual take-over of the work of approved societies have so far applied only to the smaller societies. In these cases the records of each society are transferred to a particular Ministry of National Insurance office in the same locality and claims from members of that society have to be sent to that office, just as they had previously to be sent to the society's office, even where, as often happened, the claimant's home was no longer in the same area. From July next claims may in all cases be made at the Ministry of National Insurance office nearest to the claimant's home, but in the interval before that date this cannot be done generally because claims must be sent to the office at which the records of the particular approved society are kept. I hope to be able, however, from April onwards to introduce by stages another change for the convenience of claimants under which, once a claim has been allowed, future payments of sickness benefit will ordinarily be made from the office nearest to the claimant's home.