§ Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance how many cases occurred during the past 12 months from any convenient date of women being refused the maternity allowance payable under the National Insurance Scheme because they applied for it less than 14 weeks before the expected date of confinement.
§ Miss Hornsby-Smith
I think my hon. and gallant Friend is under some misapprehension as to the position. This allowance is payable from the eleventh week before the expected week of confinement. Although an advance claim can be put in from the fourteenth week before the date of confinement, no benefit is lost unless the claimant fails to claim by the end of the week in respect of which she becomes eligible for the allowance. I regret that the number of claims in the past twelve months in which some benefit was lost because of lateness is not available.