HC Deb 31 March 1999 vol 328 cc835-6W
Mr. Ben Chapman

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if any civilians employed in war-related work have received war pensions for asbestosis since 1969; [79038]

(2) how many civilians employed in war-related work have received war pensions for asbestosis since 1969. [78889]

Mr. Bayley

Questions on operational matters concerning the War Pensions Agency are for its Chief Executive, Mr. Gordon Hextall. I have asked him to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Gordon Hextall to Mr. Ben Chapman, dated 30 March 1999: The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the number of civilians employed in war related work who have received War Pensions for Asbestosis. Unfortunately, the specific information you have requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. In answer to your earlier Parliamentary Question on this subject (Official Report 22 February 1999, Vol 326, Col 175) The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Social Security explained that as at 31 December 1998 (which is still the latest date for which figures are available), there were 3,183 civilians receiving a War Pension.

DSS reviews (with external members) established since May 1997
Title Date established Working party Sub-group Other subsidiary committee Final report published Expected reports Terminated date Expected termination date
Review of the Scientific basis of the assessment of noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss in War Pensions Announced by Baroness Hollis 11 June 1997. Review team of independent hearing loss experts met on 19 November 1997 and January 1998 Yes, outcome of review announced on 5 March 1998. Copy of report was laid in the House of Commons Library in the same month n/a March 1998 n/a

The War Pensions Agency does not keep statistics relating to the number of War Pensions in payment for specific medical conditions. Although I cannot answer your specific questions, I have sought advice about these cases from our more experienced staff. I am told that it would be rare for a War Pension to be paid to a civilian for Asbestosis because a person would have to show that he was exposed to asbestos as a result of a specific incident involving enemy action during World War II. This type of incident would be rather unusual. I hope this is helpful and if you need any further information, I will be happy to assist.

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