HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 cc322-3W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the compensation paid to ex-coalminers or to their widows, on account of their suffering from emphysema or chronic bronchitis, will be liable to reduction on the basis of their receiving extra social security benefits(a) after giving up work and (b) for their loss of earnings. [103062]

Mr. Bayley

The provisions of the compensation recovery scheme applies to all victims of accident, injury or disease who have received both state benefits and compensation for the same need. The scheme will, therefore, apply to miners who have recently been awarded compensation for emphysema or chronic bronchitis. Under the provisions of the scheme, a compensator is liable to repay benefits paid up to the date of the final compensation payment, subject to a five year maximum. In turn, they must reduce the compensation to take account of the amounts repaid, but only where compensation and benefits are paid for a like need. Under no circumstances can compensation for pain and suffering be reduced. In the case of widows, where the compensation claim is made under the provisions of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, or would have been had an action been brought, any payments are exempt.