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1979-1987 : Mr Major’s Written Parliamentary Answer on Invalidity Benefit

Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Invalidity Benefit on 21st October 1985.


Mr. Ron Davies Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number and percentage of cases won by appellants appealing against refusal or stoppage of invalidity benefit claims in the past year in England and Wales and the number and percentage of such cases which were supported by (a) the claimant's own general practitioner, (b) an independent medical consultant and (c) other evidence.

Mr. Major I regret that information relating to appellants in invalidity benefit cases is not available in the form requested. The latest available information for Great Britain which relates to all types of appeal in invalidity benefit cases for the year ending 31 December 1983 is that 3,280 appeals were made to local tribunals of which 947 were successful. A further 164 appeals were made to the commissioner of which 46 were upheld. Of 3,280 appellants 993 (30 per cent) were therefore successful.

I regret that no information is available regarding the number of appeal cases supported by (a) the claimant's own general practitioner, (b) an independent medical consultant and (c) other evidence.

Mr. Ron Davies Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of occasions in the past year on which payments of invalidity benefit to claimants have been stopped in England and Wales, respectively; and if he will give these figures as percentages of total invalidity benefit claimants.

Mr. Major I regret that the information is not available in the form requested. In the 12 months ending 2 April 1983, the latest period for which figures are available, about 250,000 spells of invalidity benefit ended in Great Britain. Spells can terminate for various reasons but the great majority will be because the claimant submitted a final doctor's statement certifying he was no longer incapable of work. As claimants may have had more than one spell of incapacity in a year it is not possible to express this figure as a percentage of the total number of invalidity benefit claimants. But in the same period some 930,000 beneficiaries received invalidity pension.

Mr. Ron Davies Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of cases where the findings of the regional medical officer conflict with those of a claimant's own general practitioner and where the findings of the adjudication officer subsequently confirm the opinion of the regional medical officer in cases where claims for invalidity benefit have been refused or stopped in England and Wales for the past year; and if he will express both numbers as percentages of the total number of claims for invalidity benefit.

Mr. Major I regret that the requested information is not available.

Mr. Ron Davies Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list, for each office of his Department in mid-Glamorgan, the number of occasions in the past year on which payments of invalidity benefit to claimants have been stopped.

Mr. Major I regret that the information is not available. If the hon. Member has a particular case in mind, perhaps he would write to me.

Mr. Ron Davies Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of invalidity benefit claimants at each office of his Department in mid-Glamorgan at the latest available date.

Mr. Major Information about claimants to invalidity benefit is obtained by periodical analysis of a small sample of cases. From this analysis we estimate that on 2 April 1983 (the latest date for which figures are available), there are approximately 28,700 people receiving invalidity benefit at the Department's eight offices in mid-Glamorgan. The sample is too small to permit reliable estimates to be made of the number of claimants at any particular office.