asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will extend before 3 September 1978 the time period during which a person must have worked in a qualifying industry to be eligible for industrial injuries benefit in respect of industrial deafness.
No. The general requirement, that a claim for disablement benefit for occupational deafness must be made within 12 months of the date when the claimant last carried out work in a prescribed occupation, was introduced on the recommendation of the Industrial Injuries
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many patients (a) applied for and (b) were referred by the Secretary of State for the Home Department to mental health review tribunals during 1976, 1977 and 1978, and how many of these patients were from each of the special hospitals; how many applications were determined in each of the years; and in how many applications determined in each year the tribunal discharged or reclassified the patient.
The information is as follows:Advisory Council, whose report in 1973 led to the prescription of occupational deafness as an industrial disease. The council's view was that such requirement was essential if difficulties of diagnosis were to be avoided in the large number of potential claimants who had left or retired from the noisy occupations concerned between 1948 and the date of prescription, and if the number of claimants requiring examination was to be kept within the limited capacity of the NHS audio logical services. The council considered the requirement again in its 1978 report (Cmnd. 7266), all recommendations of which were implemented in September 1979, including extension of occupational coverage. The council concluded that the "12 months" requirement had to be retained if cover was to be extended as widely as possible to those who continued to work in noisy processes.