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Dependants Pensions (Claims)

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1951

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32.

asked the Secretary of State for War if he is aware that there is some lack of knowledge as to the procedure of claiming war pensions when soldiers are killed during active service; and if he will take steps to ensure that when cases of this kind occur the dependants are advised by the authorities of the method of procedure for claiming the pension.

The widow of a soldier who dies while serving is sent a form of application for widow's pension, which has to be completed and sent to the Ministry of Pensions. Other dependants who were receiving allotments or other payments through Army channels are advised to apply to the Ministry of Pensions when they are notified of the impending cessation of these payments. No notification is made to dependants who are receiving no Army payments, but I think it is generally known that the Ministry of Pensions is the Department to which applications should be addressed.

In view of the state of mind in which a great many people are put when they receive just a form, would the Minister consider that some personal contact should be made, because there have been a great many cases in which the present method has not produced the desired result?

Is my right hon. Friend aware that only three or four Questions ago the Opposition were objecting to spending money on informing pensioners and others how to get information?