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Volume 32: debated on Wednesday 17 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the members of the European Economic Community whose decisions on the degree of invalidity of a claimant are binding on his Department in accordance with provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 40 of EEC Regulation 1408/71 and those member States which are not; what action is being taken to extend reciprocity to the latter countries; and if he will make a statement.

We have no agreements with any member State of the Community to accept their decisions on the degree of invalidity of a claimant. Such agreements would not be practical given the differences in the criteria for determining the degree of invalidity which will be accepted to give title to benefit that exist between our scheme and those of each of the other member States.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the information provided by his Department to children receiving attendance allowance and mobility allowance about their possible entitlement to non-contributory invalidity pension upon reaching the age of sixteen; if he has taken any action following the criticisms made of his Department in the Commissioners decision C.S.61/1982; and if he will make a statement.

A letter is sent to the parent or guardian of a child in receipt of attendance allowance four months before the child's sixteenth birthday. This encloses a leaflet and claim form for non-contributory invalidity pension and suggests that the child, or the parent acting on the child's behalf, may wish to claim NCIP. The version of this letter referred to in commissioner's decision CS61/82 was amended in 1981.The Department is considering the introduction of similar procedures for mobility allowance recipients and is also looking afresh at its instructions to local office staff in the light of the commissioner's decision.