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Industrial Injury Benefit (Deafness)

Volume 14: debated on Monday 30 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will reduce the period of employment necessary to qualify for industrial injury benefit for occupational deafness from 20 to 15 years.

A sub-committee of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, the independent body that advises my right hon. Friend on matters relating to the industrial injuries scheme, is reviewing the benefit provisions for occupational deafness and is expected to report next year. The length of the period of employment in a prescribed occupation necessary to qualify for compensation, currently 20 years, is one of the issues which it is considering.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many people have applied for industrial injury benefit for occupational deafness since 1974; how many have received benefit; and how many claims have been disallowed for (a) failing to fulfil the occupational criteria and (b) insufficient hearing loss.

Information is not available in the precise form requested. The figures below most nearly correspond. They cover the period from the inception of the scheme—28 October 1974—to the latest available date—27 October 1981.

Number
Claims received25,358
Claims allowed5,803
Claims disallowed
(a) on grounds of prescription (i.e. failing to fulfil the occupational criteria)10,856
(b) on diagnostic grounds6,508
A number of claims are outstanding at any time.