HC Deb 28 January 1997 vol 289 c192W
Mr. Rooney

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to require claimants of the War Pensions Agency to pay for their medical and service records. [13029]

Mr. Heald

These are matters for Mr. Kevin Caldwell, chief executive of the War Pensions Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from K. C. Caldwell to Mr. Terry Rooney, dated 27 January 1997: The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about charges to claimants of War Pension, for medical and service records. The War Pensions Agency has no plans to charge claimants for the service and medical records it obtains when dealing with claims or appeals. The Agency obtains service records from the Ministry of Defence, based on information supplied by the claimant. The Agency also obtains any medical evidence required by the Agency's medical advisors. This evidence may already exist: for example the claimant's hospital medical records are loaned to the Agency free of charge by National Health Service Hospitals under a long standing agreement. In many cases, particular medical evidence is commissioned by the Agency. This may include medical examination of the claimant or a report from the claimant's General Practitioner. Payment for these services is made by the Agency. Claimants may submit any evidence they consider will assist their claim. The Agency does not reimburse claimants for the cost of obtaining such evidence and this is made clear in claim forms. I hope you find this information useful.