HC Deb 29 July 1997 vol 299 cc249-50W
Mr. Healey

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans she has to review the Social Security (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 1997 as they relate to the backdating of industrial injuries disablement benefit, with particular references to the award of benefit to claimants suffering industrial injury from asbestosis or mesothelioma; and if she will make a statement. [8933]

Mr. Denham

In our manifesto we promised to build a modern welfare state. The publication of the Social Security Bill on 10 July 1997 was a key step towards this aim.

We are determined that making a claim should be a straightforward matter for those entitled to benefit. The Social Security Bill provides for equal treatment when claiming social security benefits, including industrial injuries disablement benefit, with entitlement for a past period restricted to one month. Those suffering from asbestos related diseases have benefited from improvements to the rules that came into force from 9 April 1997, which include the removal of the 90-day waiting period for sufferers from mesothelioma and the widening of the range of occupations covered for this disease.