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Sickness Benefit Claims (Investigations)

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance what is the minimum period of benefit allowed before his Department requests the Ministry of Health to investigate claims for sickness benefit; and if he will list the ailments which are included in the code of guidance on the basis of which local officers decide which cases to investigate.

There is no fixed minimum period. Whether, and if so when, a regional medical officer of the Ministry of Health is asked for his opinion must depend on a number of factors, especially the nature and duration of the claimant's incapacity. I do not think it would be in the public interest for me to give any more specific indication of the arrangements, even if it were practicable—which it is not—to set them out in the way which the hon. Member suggests.