HC Deb 30 July 1941 vol 373 cc1416-7W
Mr. R. C. Morrison

asked the Minister of Pensions what is the average period of time which elapses between the date of application made by a soldier for a special hardship grant and the date of the War Service Grants Committee's award; whether, in those cases where substantial arrears of grant are found to be due, it has been considered practicable to issue any part of such arrears direct to the soldier's creditors instead of to his wife or other dependant; and what steps are taken to review these grants, with a view to their withdrawal or reduction in those cases where the soldier fails to meet the liability on account of which the grant was awarded, or where the liability has ceased?

Mr. Paling

Taking cases of all types, the Ministry's decision is notified within an average period of nine days from its receipt of the application; but in the vast majority of cases, which present no special difficulty, the average time is about seven days. As regards the second part of the Question my right hon. Friend is not authorised to pay a war service grant to a person other than a serving member or his nominee. A war service grant is issuable only for the relief of serious hardship, and it is subject to review as the degree of hardship changes. If the hardship is diminished or removed by liabilities ceasing, the grant has to be reduced or terminated. If it is represented that liabilities are not being met the beneficiary is warned that continued failure in that matter will involve the reduction or cancellation of the grant.