§ Mr. L. M. Lever
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if he will state the numbers of deaths amongst 1914–18 war disabled pensioners in each of the past three years, the numbers of war widows' pensions awarded in respect of those deaths, and the amount by which the war widow's pension exceeds the National Insurance widow's pension to which they would otherwise have been entitled; whether the contributory effects of severe war disablement towards causes of death are related to this differential; or whether causes are required to be wholly due to effects of war disablement.
Deaths among 1914–18 war disablement pensioners in each of the past three years ended 31st March numbered 12,820, 12,299 and 12,117, of whom 7,684, 7,525 and 7,436 respectively left widows. I regret that I have no figures of awards of war widows' pensions relating to these deaths but the number of awards of pension to widows of 1914–18 pensioners in the three years were 623, 669 and 613 respectively.
The standard rate of war pension for a widow of an ex-private is 16s. more than the standard rate of National Insurance widow's pension but this differential has no bearing on entitlement to a war widow's pension. Such a pension may be awarded if death is certified by our medical officers to be wholly due to or to be materially hastened by the pensioned war disablement.
§ Mr. L. M. Lever
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if 69W he will state the steps taken by his Department to draw the attention of widows of severely disabled war pensioners to the procedure for application for a war widow's pension, in view of the fact that widows themselves do not always realise that there may be entitlement; and how many war widows have been invited by his Department to complete such applications in each of the past three years.
The pension order books of war disablement pensioners contain a reference to the procedure for application for a war widow's pension. When a war disablement pensioner dies a personal letter of sympathy is sent to his widow in which she is invited to get into touch with my Department if she needs help in pension or other matters. Cases of severely disabled war pensioners are automatically examined at death and where there are reasonable grounds for thinking that entitlement to war widow's pension might be established a claim is invited. I regret that the figures asked for in the last part of the Question are not available.