asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what guidance has been given to local Department of Health and Social Security's offices in Scotland on the payment of severe disablement allowance in relation to those registered as blind or partially sighted; and what representations he has had on this matter.
The guidance to our local offices in Scotland reflects the position that a claim for severe disablement allowance from a visually handicapped person who first became incapable of work after his 20th birthday, and who is not in receipt of a passport benefit, should be referred to the adjudicating medical authorities to determine the disablement question. Registration as a blind or partially sighted person with a local authority in Scotland is on a non-statutory basis and, unlike in England and Wales therefore, a person so registered cannot automatically be accepted as satisfying the 80 per cent. disablement condition. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security has recently replied to a letter on this matter from the hon. Member for Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber (Mr. Johnston) on behalf of the Northern Counties Institute for the Blind.