§ Mr. Crausby
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many times over the last five years he has exercised his discretion in granting war disablement pensions in cases where claimants failed to make claims within three months of termination of service. 
§ Mr. Bayley
The administration of War Pensions Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Gordon Hextall. He will write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Gordon Hextall to Mr. David Crausby, dated 9 December 1999:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question. You asked how many times over the last five years he has exercised his discretion in granting war disablement pensions in cases where claimants failed to make claims within three months of termination of service.The War Pensions Agency does not keep statistics relating to the information that you require. This information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.It may help if I were to explain that the legislation under which such pensions are awarded is Schedule 3, Article 65 of the Naval, Military and Air Forces (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983. This provides that where a claim is not made within 3 months from termination of service, payment of pension shall not be made for any period before the date of claim, unless the Secretary of State's discretion is used.The Secretary of State's discretion is only used in exceptional circumstances where it is considered reasonable to do so. Examples would be where there has been Departmental error or misdirection, or where the claimant was prevented by illness from, or had some other good reason for, not claiming earlier. The Agency considers the individual merits of each case when considering the claim.I hope this information is helpful. If you need any further information, I will be happy to assist.