HC Deb 10 November 1976 vol 919 cc198-9W
Mr. George Rodgers

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now announce the amount by which the mobility allowance will be increased under the Government's new policy on mobility for disabled persons.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The rate of the allowance falls to be reviewed each year. Next year we shall aim not only to maintain but, if possible, to improve its value. We shall announce the revised rate of the allowance as soon as the necessary review has been completed.

Mr. Ashley

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how often he has notified an insurance officer that a decision of a medical board regarding the mobility allowance ought to be considered by a medical appeal tribunal.

Mr. Alfred Morris

The medical aspects of mobility allowance entitlement are considered in the first place, by an "examining medical practitioner" who advises the insurance officer. The insurance officer may decide the case on the basis of this advice, or he may refer it to a medical board for a decision on the medical issues. If he decides the case on the advice of the examining medical practitioner, a claimant whose claim has been rejected can appeal to a medical board. Where a decision has been taken by a medical board the claimant can appeal to a medical appeal tribunal or the Secretary of State can notify the insurance officer that in his opinion the medical issues should be referred to a medical appeal tribunal. There have so far been 50 such references as compared with 454 appeals by claimants.