§ 112. Mr. Skinnard
asked the Minister of National Insurance whether he is aware that a number of cases of delay in obtaining sickness benefit have been caused by the failure on the part of certain approved societies, prior to 5th July, to inform their members that, from that date, medical certificates should be sent to the local offices of the Ministry; and whether he will take further steps to ensure that individual members of those societies are instructed how and where to apply for benefit.
§ Mr. J. Griffiths
Arrangements were made for all members of the smaller approved societies taken over before 5th July and all members of the large societies with claims current on that date to be told individually of the address to which future medical certificates should be sent. I have no reason to think that there was any failure by societies to carry out these arrangements. It was not practicable to send individual notices to the 12 million members of the large societies who were not claiming benefit at the Appointed Day. But wide publicity was given to the new arrangements through the Press, the wireless, the Family Guide and other leaflets and the new medical certificates include clear instructions on the matter. General publicity to spread this information is being continued. Officers of former approved societies who receive certificates mistakenly sent to them will help the smooth working of the scheme by redirecting them promptly but the number of such certificates is now quite small.