§ Mr. Alton asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people who have been awarded damages under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act have subsequently had supplementary benefits withdrawn under Supplementary Benefit (Resources) Regulations 1980, regulation 7.
§ Mrs. Chalker:
We know of 16 cases where a person who was awarded damages under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act has had his supplementary benefit withdrawn since November 1980 because his capital resources, including the vaccine damage payment held on trust for him, exceeded £2,000. In one case benefit was subsequently reinstated; in all the cases benefit would have ceased if the previous rule of applying a notional income to a claimant's capital had continued and had been applied.
As the hon. Member will know, the Supplementary Benefit Policy Inspectorate is inquiring into the operation of the capital rule and will be looking particularly at the treatment of vaccine damage payments. I shall write to the hon. Member if its report brings forward any further information.