§ Sir Ronald Bell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he intends to introduce a further scheme for the long-term support of vaccine-damaged children.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
We have no proposals for any further scheme of provision specifically for the vaccine damaged. It is our intention to introduce an improved system of benefits for disabled people generally when resources permit. In addition to the £10,000 payments, most vaccine damaged people qualify for other cash benefits under social security arrangements. The majority are also paid attendance allowance; a number also receive mobility allowance.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will carry out an inquiry into the failure to provide compensation or long-term and short-term benefits to vaccine-damaged children and their parents by his Department; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Vaughan
I am satisfied that the Department is operating the scheme provided for by the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 in the way that Parliament intended, and I do not consider that any specific inquiry is called for.
2,704 claims have been made; very few further claims are now being received and only a handful await consideration. There are, however, 170 cases where, following disallowance, the claimant has asked for review by a tribunal but is not at present ready to proceed; 643 awards have been made.197W
We have made it clear that we do not have proposals for any further legislation specifically for the vaccine damaged, but we intend to introduce an improved system of benefits for disabled people generally when resources permit.
In addition to the £10,000 payments, most vaccine-damaged people qualify for other cash benefits under social security arrangements. The majority are also paid attendance allowance; a number also receive mobility allowance. Those over 16 are normally eligible for non-contributory invalidity pension. Where supplementary benefit is in payment, the £10,000 is disregarded entirely for a child. Once the child reaches 16 money held in trust and earmarked for a particular item can be disregarded temporarily in addition to the normal £2,000 capital disregard.