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Personal Case

Volume 654: debated on Monday 19 February 1962

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1 and 2.

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1) when an applicant from Chadderton, whose name has been furnished to him, made an application for a pension on the ground of silicosis; when he was examined; by whom he was examined; and for what reason the pension was refused;(2) whether he is aware that an applicant from Chadderton, whose name has been furnished to him, whose application had been three times refused by the silicosis board died on 4th January, 1962, of silicosis of at least five years' standing; and what posthumous compensation he proposes to make to the relatives of this man.

The applicant in question made seven claims for disablement benefit for pneumoconiosis between 1955 and 1959 and on six occasions was radio-logically and clinically examined by Pneumoconiosis Medical Boards. On consideration of all the evidence available in life, the boards decided that the applicant was not suffering from pneumoconiosis and the claims were disallowed. Although the pathologist found death was due to bronchopneumonia, the panel doctors, after examining the lung specimens, agreed with the pathologist's finding that pneumoconiosis was a contributory factor. This new evidence which was necessarily available only after death has enabled the Pneumoconiosis Medical Board to review the earlier decisions on diagnosis and it has now been decided that the deceased was suffering from pneumoconiosis from 1st January, 1955. The arrears of disablement benefit have been paid to the widow, who will also be receiving an award of industrial death benefit. I understand that the widow has since appealed to the Medical Appeal Tribunal against the disablement benefit assessment made by this last Pneumoconiosis Medical Board.