§ Mr. Ian Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his oral statement of 27 June 2000,Official Report, column 720, what additional payments will be made to people who received a (a) £10,000, (b) £20,000, (c) £30,000 and (d) £40,000 payment under the 1979 Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme; and on what basis these amounts have been calculated. 
§ Mr. Bayley
Top-up payments are intended to represent the difference, in real terms, between the original payments and the proposed new £100,000 rate. Calculation of the proposed top-up payments is as follows:
£ Original payment Top-up payment 10,000 67,000 20,000 62,500 30,000 61,500 40,000 58,000
The original payment made to past recipients has been revalued from the date that the relevant rate of that payment was introduced up to April 2000 using the Retail Prices Index (All items) and the normal method applied in revaluing Social Security benefits across successive upratings.
§ Mr. Lilley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) where he intends to publish the criteria which will be used under the revised Vaccine Damage Payment Scheme to determine whether a person is 60 per cent. disabled; 
(2) where the criteria determining whether a child is 80 per cent. disabled are published; 114W
(3) if he will publish the protocols used by SEMA Group to determine whether a person's injuries were caused by a vaccine; 
(4) if he will publish the protocols used by SEMA Group to determine whether a person is 80 per cent. disabled. 
§ Mr. Bayley
Section 1(4) of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 directs that the level of disablement in vaccine damage cases be assessed as for the purposes of section 103 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992. Assessment is further covered in Schedule 6 to the latter Act, and in the Social Security (General Benefit) Regulations 1982 (SI 1982/1408), reg 11 and Schedule 2.
Assessment of 80 per cent. disablement is made by doctors specially trained in disability assessment medicine. They assess the degree of disablement by reference to and comparison with assessments, including guidance on percentage impairments, prescribed in the above legislation. They are assisted in this task by guidance contained in "The Severe Disablement Allowance Handbook for Medical Advisers", approved by the Department of Social Security's Chief Medical Adviser and published by Sema Medical Services, a copy of which will be placed in the Library. Because of the proposed change to the disability threshold under the scheme the need for revised guidance on the 60 per cent. disablement criterion will be considered, and made publicly available as appropriate, before the new threshold comes into force.
Sema doctors advise on whether, on the balance of probabilities, a person's injuries were caused by a vaccine on the basis of the current consensus of informed medical opinion. The use as reference the book "Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines" by the Institute of Medicine. Sema doctors also carry out regular electronic searches of published medical research papers. The majority of such research in the past three years has been published in The Lancet. The current consensus of informed medical opinion is summarised in Sema medical Services' procedural guidance to its doctors on processing referrals for advice on vaccine damage claims, a copy of which will be placed in the Library.
§ Mr. Lilley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) when he plans to publish regulations increasing the statutory sum available under the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme; 
(2) if the £60 million sum for the costs of revisions to the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme is intended to cover only the top-up payments for previous recipients of awards; 
(3) if additional funds will be made available (a) this year and (b) in future years if more people than anticipated qualify for a vaccine damage payment when the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme is revised; 
(4) when he plans to introduce legislation on the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme; 
(5) pursuant to his oral statement of 27 June 2000, Official Report, columns 719–20, on vaccine damage payments, if he will make a statement on the basis of the calculations that top-up payments of £58,000 to £67,000 will provide recipients with a total payment of £100,000 in real terms. 115W
§ Mr. Bayley
The draft Vaccine Damage Payment Act 1979 Statutory Sum Order 2000 was laid on 5 July and is being debated in both Houses this week. We estimate that the costs of implementing the proposals as they affect all existing cases will be around £60 million. There is a statutory entitlement to a vaccine damage payment if the relevant criteria are met and such payments will be made regardless of the future number of awards.
The original payment made to past recipients has been revalued from the date that the relevant rate was introduced to April 2000 using the Retail Prices Index (All items) and the normal method applied in revaluing Social Security benefits across successive upratings. The top-up payments represent the difference between this figure and the proposed new £100,000 rate.
We will bring forward primary legislation to implement the proposed changes to the time limit and the disability threshold as soon as possible.