§ Mr. Llewellyn
asked the Minister of Pensions what is the reason for the practice whereby certain disabled pensioners have their degree of disability lowered between the time when they have their final medical examination on leaving the Services and official notification of their degree of disability and corresponding pension; and approximately what percentage of disabled persons have their degree of disability and pensions lowered in this way.
§ Mr. Marquand
The degree of disablement for pension purposes is determined under the relevant provision of the Royal Warrant (Article 10) which I administer and in accordance with a certificate of a medical officer or board of medical officers appointed or recognised by me for the purpose [Article 2 (3)(b)]. There is no practice of lowering certain assessments recorded by Service medical officers of the disablement due to service of members leaving the Services. The large majority of the assessments are accepted; they are sometimes increased and only very occasionally lowered.
In assessing the pensionable disablement my medical officers have regard to all the relevant service and medical history and do not hesitate to arrange for further medical examination if this is required in the pensioner's interest. Each claim is judged sympathetically on the individual facts and I am satisfied that the pensions granted are based on fair assessments of the degree of disablement. At the time of notification of the first award of pension all pensioners are told that very careful consideration will be given to any representations they may wish to make regarding the assessment of their disablement. As regards the last part of the Question, I regret that precise information is not available.