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Ex-Service Men

Volume 154: debated on Tuesday 30 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that W. Barber, 3/109, Stewart Street, Spring Hill, Birmingham, after demobilisation, had employment. for two-and-a-half years and was then thrown out of work; that he received ordinary out-of-work benefit for 13 weeks and, from 13th May, 1922, he has been informed that his unemployment benefits will cease for five weeks; and whether, seeing that had he been unemployed at demobilisation he would have received 19s. 6d. per week for 12 months, the Government is prepared to pay ex-service men in this position out-of-work benefits for the periods that they at present forfeit?

I have been asked to reply. I am making inquiries in regard to this case and will let my hon. and gallant friend know the result as soon as possible. It would appear probable, however, that this claimant has drawn uncovenanted benefit for five weeks since 6th April, and, therefore, under the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Act recently passed, cannot draw further benefit for five weeks. I dealt with this provision in the reply given to my hon. Friends the Members for Moss Side (Lieut.-Colonel Hurst), Barnard Castle (Mr. Swan), and St. George's (Mr. Erskine) on the 25th May, of which I am sending my hon. and gallant Friend a copy. With regard to the latter part of the question, I am afraid I cannot admit the validity of the argument which seems to be implied, that because a man was in employment during the period when out-of-work donation was provided for unemployed ex-service men he is therefore entitled to receive out-of-work donation at the present time.

asked the Minister of Pensions whether disabled ex-service men undergoing treatment for their disability are eligible for out-of-work donation; whether he is aware that the D.C.M.S. has given a decision that disability treatment does not prevent the man from working; that employers will not engage a man under disability treatment on the grounds that he is unfit for work; and whether, having regard to these facts, he will withdraw his objection to these men receiving the out-of-work donation?

asked the Minister of Labour if he is aware that many ex-service men, members of the British Legion, have protested against the action of the Ministry of Labour in withholding the grant of out-of-work donation to disabled ex-service men undergoing treatment for their disability, in spite of the fact that D.C.M.S. decision states that the said treatment does not prevent the men from working; and if he will take action in the matter

I have been asked to reply. Unemployment benefit is not payable unless the applicant is available for and capable of work. Claims made by disabled men undergoing treatment are referred to the insurance officer for a decision on this point. The decision depends on the circumstances of the particular case, but I may mention that if full treatment allowance is being drawn benefit is disallowed. The applicant has, of course, the right to appeal to the Court of Referees against a disallowance.