HC Deb 29 October 1980 vol 991 c303W
Dr. Edmund Marshall

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will seek to amend the Social Security (No. 2) Act 1980, to enable kidney dialysis patients to claim sickness benefit for periods of less than three days.

Mrs. Chalker

I am pleased to announce that my right hon. Friend intends to bring forward proposals to enable sickness and invalidity benefit to be paid where there are only two or three days of incapacity within six consecutive days. This change will apply only if the incapacity is due to renal dialysis or, possibly, other circumstances where treatment for a serious condition causes incapacity for only two or three days in each week. At present incapacity benefits are payable only where there are at least four consecutive days of incapacity. It is recognised that this rule—which came into force in September—could adversely affect patients undergoing renal dialysis. Until the necessary legislation is approved by Parliament, benefit is being paid in these cases on an extra-statutory basis.