§ Mr. Hall
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many former members of Her Majesty's armed forces have applied for a war disablement pension on the grounds of noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss since 7 January 1993; and how many of these applications have been refused on the grounds that the hearing loss was less than 20 per cent. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
Information is not available in the exact form requested.
We estimate that since January 1993 a total of around 139,500 first claims have been made for hearing loss only. Separate claim figures for noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss are not available, because the exact diagnosis is not known when the claim is made, but the vast majority of the above claims were probably for that condition. In the same period, no payment was made in some 57,500 cases, because the assessed level of disablement due to service related NISHL was less than 20 per cent.
The figures include claims made under all the war pensions scheme,s including those covering service personnel, world war two civilians and mercantile mariners. Separate figures are not available for the individual schemes.