HC Deb 20 June 1989 vol 155 cc98-9W
Mr. Boyes

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he can state the percentage of successful claimants at each of the following stages(a) the examining medical practitioner/adjudicating officer, (b) the medical board and (c) the medical appeal tribunal of (i) deaf-blind and (ii) mentally handicapped claimants of mobility allowance in the survey which is being carried out by his Department; and if he will clarify the methods being used to obtain these figures:

(2) what progress has been made by his Department on the analysis that they are carrying out on a sample of deaf-blind and mentally handicapped claimants of mobility allowance; and if he will make a statement;

(3) when he expects the results of his Department's analysis of a sample of deaf-blind and mentally handicapped claimants of mobility allowance to be published.

Mr. Scott

Random samples of claims made by either mentally or visually handicapped people were examined, after the decision had been given, for each of the three stages of the medical adjudication system. The size of the samples and the outcome of the claims is shown as follows:

Adjudication stage for medical questions Sample size Percentage successful
Mentally handicapped
Adjudication Officer 100 36
Medical Board 100 38
Medical Appeal Tribunal 100 46
Visually handicapped
Adjudication Officer 100 32
Medical Board 75 31
Medical Appeal Tribunal 25 36

The samples of cases have been analysed by the type of claim, the availability of additional evidence, and their outcome. Further analysis has been made of the nature of the findings on behavioural and balance problems, as appropriate. In practice it has proved difficult to isolate the effect of visual or mental handicap on the individual decisions about entitlement to mobility allowance, because of the frequent incidence of multiple handicap. The results must therefore be treated with caution. We do not therefore propose to publish detailed findings, but we shall use the information which has been collected when the guidance for examining doctors is being revised.

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